This morning I was doing my devotions when I came across one of my favorite verse in the Bible. Chances are it's one of yours too. It's usually that verse people quote at you when you feel lost and maybe even abandoned by God. I'm sure you've read it on graduation cards. I know you've heard in many sermons.
image created by Danette Dillon
available for personal use only
If you read the context of that verse you'll find that there is trouble all around the Jews.
Here's a few of the things they were facing.
- Their country was literally divided in two and it had been for sometime.
- Over half of both of their countries, Judah and Isearl, were in exile.
- When they were taken into exile, the infrastructure was destroyed including their beloved temple in Jerusalem.
- They refused to listen to the voice of God choosing, rather, to listen to false prophets who feed them lies.
That sounds like a pretty dark place to me.
It was a dark place of their own making.
But here's were the promise of God comes in.
This verse is actually included in a letter written to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon where the people of God were in captivity. It's basically a warning to Nebuchadnezzar that soon his day would be over. His rule would have no effect of God's people. The people of God were in trouble. They where in exile. But for long. God had a good plan...a plan to prosper them and not to harm them. A plan to give them a hope and a future.
They messed up. I mean, really messed up. Bad. They hadn't obeyed the commands of God. They had turned their backs on God and on His prophets. But despite all of the terrible things they did, God, their Father, was with them. He knew them. He loved them. And He would restore them.
God's ultimate plan is always one of restoration. He always has a good plan for you.
Does that mean that you won't have to live in some messes sometimes especially ones we create? Absolutely not. Just like the Jews, we create our own problems by not living in God's boundaries. Yet at the same time, just like His people, He always has a plan to get us out of our mess...to prosper us and now to harm us.
God sees you. He knows you. He will restore you.
I know I've created several messes in my own life some of which I'm still living in now. But I know God is my restorer. He's my healer. He's my best friend. He's my love. I know He is divinely working all of my messes for my good.
I'm sure it wasn't in His original plan but He's working it into His divine design.
The end is better than the beginning and it's much better than now. It's all in His divine design.