Future and Hope

Jeremiah 29:11 is a well-known verse: “For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I’ve never considered the context. Jeremiah gave this word to the Israelites that had been taken captive by Babylon. These people had been snatched from their homes, their land… the land God promised them as an inheritance. Some had died. The treatment of their captors no doubt vicious.

In the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, God is telling these people, through Jeremiah, to find peace in the place they find themselves. To plant a garden, to be in relationship with one another.

Israel had turned their back on God. God gave them chances, and a myriad of warnings. He had blessed this people immensely. But they turned from Him. So, He allowed the Promised Land to be pilfered and His people to be conquered by the great Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. And once the dust started to settle, and the people found themselves captive in a foreign land, confused and neglected by God… God says they will be there for a while. He instructs them how to live within their circumstances. Peaceful. Fruitful. In verses 12 thru 14, He speaks to them about praying and seeking Him and that He will answer. He promises to gather them and bring them home.

This chapter has a tender, personal feel, the voice of a parent. “Y’all screwed up. Here are your consequences. Make the best of your situation. I still love you and have great plans for you. Seek me with all your heart. I will save you from this place”

Our country is going crazy right now. We allow babies to be killed, laws are being passed that endanger our most vulnerable, every religion is acceptable in the public except Christianity, we’ve become hard-hearted, intolerant, violent, self-absorbed, and fewer and fewer people seek God. Fewer and fewer people stand for His morals. Fewer and fewer people focus on the big picture.

I’ve had little hope of things improving. Maybe if Trump isn’t re-elected, things will settle down. But in the long run, is that what’s best? The loud, violent, coercive people that HATE Trump, bullying the rest of the nation so they can get what they want? Now, that is crooked politics. What will our country look like if the laws that are passed and the politicians representing us are only there because the bully’s scared the rest of us into submission?

Social media is manipulating behavior on a drastic scale (Watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix!), completely changing how society operates, with millions of unaware addicts. Race wars. Pandemics. Wildfires. Do we see the warning signs for what they are? Do we really think we can fix this ourselves? Does BLM think that if all the white people pump their fists and chant in solidarity that race issues will be solved? Do the white people that are getting on their knees and begging for the forgiveness of their forefathers, and pumping their fists in the air really think this will appease the anti-white groups? Make no mistake, there are anti-white groups… just listen to some of the speeches given at the BLM ‘rallies’. So much bullying. So much deceit. So much ignorance. So much stoking the fire of fear. I wonder sometimes if the people that are bullying, spreading fear, and providing a false narrative are intentionally doing these things. Or should we give them the benefit of the doubt? Do they have the best of intentions and their passion for the cause is blinding them to what they are REALLY doing?

And then I realize… The country is actually full of tolerant, loving, amazing, God-seeking people. It’s just difficult to remember that when you see the news or scroll through Facebook and you are bombarded by negativity, neighbor attacking neighbor, stories twisted to fit agendas of division, and noise. So much noise.

Jeremiah 29 brings hope. There are always consequences to our actions. Sometimes it’s complete uprooting, total destruction. But God promises us a future and a hope. If we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him. Those of us who claim faith in God need to claim his promises. Be informed, but fear not. Be honest, but be tender. Remember that God is God, and He is bigger than anyone or anything that happens in this world. Our time on this earth is like vapor. No Supreme Court ruling, No election, No ‘movement’ is going to heal the brokenness of this country. Only God can. And that won’t start happening at the top and trickle down. That starts from where I’m sitting right now. And it starts with where you are sitting right now.