I wonder if we realize how much God loves us and how much good He wants for us.
Jeremiah 29:11-13, or I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Here’s a question. We all know this verse and if you look on Pinterest you will find pages and pages of Jeremiah 29:11 paintings, drawings, calligraphy and tattoos. In fact I only typed in J-E-R-E and I got Jeremiah 29:11. I didn’t even have to search. I think I can assume that we all know this verse and this passage. It’s nice and comforting. It’s safe and it doesn’t confront us and we can look at it when we’re not really prospering and say, “It’s okay, God has a plan, I’m just going to believe that.”
What part do we have to play in that plan? I think that a lot of people assume (or wish) that God will just reach down and make the plan a reality without much effort on our part.
But do we really believe what God is saying here. Do we put it into our minds and write it on our hearts. It’s all good and well to write things on walls (physical or virtual) but to write them on our hearts is another story altogether. When we are sick and tired and struggling financially what do we do? Do we embrace this verse and cry out to God or do we curl up in a ball and just cry? Obviously the easy thing to do is to just cry, get depressed and tell everyone (and ourselves) how unfair life is. That’s the normal thing to do isn’t it? We get together with our friends and complain and compare unfairness. Nobody stands up and says, “What do you think you’re saying?” Nobody reminds us that God is really on our side and that we are, in fact, speaking death over our situation.
Proverbs 18:21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Whenever we speak we are putting words out there into the universe. Words that we can’t put back where they came from. We speak all kinds of negative things over ourselves and then we can’t understand why all these terrible things are happening to us. I realize that is becomes a habit and I fully realize that when bad things happen and when we’re feeling miserable or sick, it’s not easy to be positive. But that is exactly what we must do. We have to force ourselves to become positive. We must praise God because God does not bring the bad things over us. That is the work of the enemy. God allows us to go through trials to strengthen us.
Romans 5:3-5, And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
We need to remember this when we are despondent and when it feels like the whole world is resting on our shoulders. We are becoming better people. We are getting spiritually strong.
John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
If the enemy’s mission is to kill, steal from, and destroy God’s children and he is not going to stop, how can we survive? We can survive by taking a few practical steps. Ephesians 6 tells us to put of the full armour of God. Only soldiers wear armour, therefore we are soldiers and we are in a battle. If we weren’t in a battle we wouldn’t need armour and if we think we aren’t in a battle we are living under an illusion. Then we can change the way we think according to Romans 12:2. The way we do that is to filter our thoughts as is stated in 2 Corinthians 10:15 and think positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8)
It isn’t easy and the Word never tells us that is will be but we are soldiers and we have to make sure that we are well trained in the skills that our manual prescribes. We are soldiers and our commander in chief has a plan that is going to prosper us.