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.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

When we study the Bible we should come up with the same meaning for the text if we’re doing it accurately and correctly. The process that we ought to be using when we study the Bible is called “biblical hermeneutics” and you can find a great explanation of what that means here. One element of biblical hermeneutics is context. I’ve written about this before but we must remember it when we are trying to apply Scripture to our daily lives.

Such is the case with Jeremiah 29:11. I’m sure that you’re not only aware of this verse but might find it to be a favorite. If you perform a search on Google, or any other search engine, you’re going to find a lot of sites that talk about this verse in one way or another. Often, when there’s a verse on my heart that I want to write about I’ll take a gander at the Christian world to see what other people might think about it. Sometimes, I find the most bizarre interpretations of Scripture, but I’m not typically alarmed by them because almost all of the teaching that I see is off the mark and should be obvious to anyone being guided by the Holy Spirit.

When we examine this verse the first thing that we ought to know is that this is part of a letter from Jeremiah the prophet to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. I think you should read Jeremiah yourself to get a better understanding of what was going on but allow me to summarize why the letter was written and specifically what Jeremiah 29:11 is talking about.

God told Jeremiah that the Babylonian exile would last for 70 years so Jeremiah writes to the exiles to tell them what God has told him; Get comfortable where you are because you’re going to be there a while and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you’ll be leaving soon. If you seek Me with all of your heart then you will find Me and I will deliver you from exile (Jeremiah 29:4-14).

It’s within the context of being told by God that the people are stuck in Babylon that we find Jeremiah 29:11, “‘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'” (NIV). Therefore, when I read this I have a couple of takeaways. The first is that God has plans for the Jewish nation and that those plans are for prosperity, hope, and a future. Exactly what the text says. The next takeaway I have here is that God has similar plans and such, not just for me, but for all of the Children of God.

Context is important but that doesn’t mean that just because something hasn’t been written to you that it’s not for you. The promises of God are for all of His Children and we know they are “Yes” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Perhaps it’s not necessary but please allow me to draw a parallel between the Babylonian exiles and us that I think is cool.

It’s not a coincidence that the Jews were in exile in Babylon for 70 years. The average life expectancy of a human being was 72.6 years in 2019. Being in exile meant that Jews weren’t in their home. As Christians, we aren’t in our Home so, in a way, you can say that we are in exile from our home in heaven. The plans that God has for us and the future with hope are with Him. Does this mean that God doesn’t have good plans for us now, while we are here on earth? No, of course not. The Jews were exiled because they didn’t obey God and chased after worldly things. They put their hope in worldly things. Not in the God of Israel. That’s part of the message to us. We know that God will meet all of our needs. We know that God will work out all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). However, We need to think more like God and less like the world. Our prosperity is in God. Our hope is in God. Our future is with God.

Therefore, when we look to a verse like Jeremiah 29:11 we can grab hold of it and run with it as long as we understand what it really means. God has plans for us, my friends, to deliver us from this exile and bring us Home. This is our hope and our glorious future! Hallelujah!

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.