Jeremiah 29:10-11 (NIV):  This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I love promises from God. For anyone who is interested in really following God, His promises are amazing. The “whoever” verse from John 3:16 is a wonderful promise that should give hope for all of us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

New Testament promises are for me. It is like Jesus is writing personally to me. His words give me hope.

Some of the Old Testament promises are also amazing. But I want to be honest. Many times it is easy for me to take verses out of context. I really want to take the second part of the above verses and just “own” them for myself. In fact, I even have a sign up in my home that says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It just sounds good.

But I also have a responsibility. I must also understand the context of verses, especially verses from the Old Testament. When the above verses are taken together, I realize that the promise was given to people from Israel who were in exile and would be waiting for 70 years. In other words, the people who heard this from the prophet Jeremiah could not even apply the promise to their own lives.

They had to wait.

For so many promises from God, I also have to wait. I don’t like to wait. Still, as I realize that God is with me, the waiting allows me to trust in God’s timing. God’s timing is always right on time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, sometimes this world stinks. I don’t like waiting around in it. Yet, here I am. As I wait, may I use this time to trust You and to align with your plans and purposes. By doing that, I have a hope and a future.

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