“For I know the plans I have for you…”
You’ve heard this verse much too often and most of the time it’s taken completely out of context. Turns out Jeremiah 29:11 doesn’t mean what you think it does…
The Lord says these “plans” are meant to give His people “a future and a hope.” It sounds like He’s saying, “Look forward – the best is yet to come,” right? But the Hebrew word here for “future” is aharit which means “afterward, backwards, or after part.” Basically, God is telling the Israelites to look backwards as they move forwards, like rowing a boat.
Is God saying that we should live in the past? Absolutely not. He’s pointing out the fact that as humans, we can’t predict what’s to come. With our backs to the future, we have no choice but to trust God as he guides us and every opportunity to recount His faithfulness.
However, God is still giving us victory over what’s next. For the Israelites, part of this victory stemmed from Mordecai being displaced to Susa the citadel. Because of the captivity of the Jews by King Nebuchadnezzar, Mordecai was in position to raise Esther who was then in the right place at the right time to save the Jews from massive genocide.
So instead of worrying about your plans for tonight or this coming year, let God look forward for you and instead change your outlook to reflect on His salvation in your life. Read more on Jeremiah 29:11 in this article by Skip Moen.
More insights on having the right perspective to come!