The Upper Room Daily Devotionals
Date: Monday 8th, July 2019
“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)
Today’s quoted verse is one of the most popular scripture verses to memorize. And it should be. It’s a lovely, encouraging verse. But a lot of people don’t realize that this verse is part of a letter to exiles — the Israelites, who still have 70 years of captivity ahead of them. God isn’t saying those words to happy, comfortable people in their comfortable homes with their comfortable families. God is speaking to people going through some tough stuff.
It’s easy to take comfort in that verse without the context. But with the context, it is even more meaningful. I found that especially true in my case as I battled cancer. My cancer wasn’t a punishment the way the Israelites’ exile was, but it was the toughest season of my life. Some moments I was a little scared of what lay ahead for me, and some moments I was very scared. But in many moments I had more peace than a 40-year-old wife and mother with breast cancer might be expected to have.
That peace came from God, who has plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I’m so thankful that the same words that gave the Israelites comfort thousands of years ago can still be a comfort to us today.