“I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me! Jeremiah 29:11-13
Let’s look at these same verses in several translations.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (King James Version)
This is God’s Word on the subject: “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” (The Message)
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Amplified Bible)
I love digging into God’s Word, discovering the meaning, frequency, and context of words. One of my favorite tools to use is the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, which gives original Hebrew and Greek words and their meanings. However, you can dig into the meaning of words for yourself by comparing words choices across translations. Biblegateway allows you to choose several different translations to view a verse on the same screen.
What stands out to you as you compare these verses?
The King James version uses the word “thought” in place of “plan.” Thought can also mean purpose or intention. God plans for us. And he thinks about us. Isn’t that comforting to know? God didn’t simply create you and leave you to fend for yourself. He’s invested in you on an ongoing basis. He knows you, thinks about you, and plans for you. Constantly. Can you say that about anyone else in your life?
God is dependable. Look through the verses again.
What do you see that speaks to the dependability of God?
I think there are times when we don’t want to depend on God. There are times throughout our spiritual seasons of life that we (1) don’t want to give up what we have to yield ourselves and our lives fully to him, (2) don’t think he can handle our lives as well as we can, (3) don’t believe that he cares enough…and the list of excuses goes on. The truth is God is dependable. If we don’t depend on him, it’s not his fault. He’s waiting. It’s our choice whether or not to respond.
What does God say about timing in these verses? What do words such as then and when promise?
We’re involved in God’s plan. We don’t change God by what we do. His character and existence isn’t dependent on how we respond through spiritual seasons. However, we’re not puppets or pawns either. He wants our involvement, and he gives us if, then, and when to indicate promises, consequences, and possibilities.
I love the verb tenses in these verses. Take a look. You might need a grammar refresher lesson, but to keep it’s simple, let’s just say these verses are future tense. Your present season might not seem so great, but there’s hope for the future! God has the biggest, longest, and most grand view of the future possible.
What does God’s plan for the future hold for you? You likely don’t know the specifics, but you can be certain it’s great, whether here on earth or in eternity. Settle into where you are this very moment and savor what God intends for you to experience. By living in your current spiritual season, you’re growing toward the future God has planned specifically for you.