Tuesday, January 25 – Jeremiah 29:11
My situation is truly unchangeable (my child has special needs and that will never change). Why should I pray about that?
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’
When you read the verse for today, you might find it familiar. It is often printed on graduation cards or written in elegant script on a decoration for a home. We find comfort in knowing there is purpose in the hard things, using this verse as a motivational piece for our daily lives. But the context gives us much more than a passing encouragement: we see a powerful promise given to people in the middle of (and looking ahead to) a very difficult time.
Jeremiah 29:4-23 contains a prophecy regarding Israel’s future, but not one that they wanted to hear. They were told that they would be living in captivity to the Babylonians. Yet in the description of these grim circumstances, God called His people not to fight back or run away, but to continue with their daily lives. He called them to build houses and settle down, be married, have kids, and strive to live at peace with the Babylonians. He even instructed them not to listen to anyone who said, “Don’t worry, this will all be over soon!” because it would not be.
God’s commands culminate with the promise in verse 11, followed by this: “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (vv. 12-13). With these words, God defined true prosperity: a restored relationship with Him. Your relationship with Him is His plan for your life.
Remembering this, praying about unchangeable circumstances becomes less a desire for something to be fixed and more an encouragement that we do not walk through those times (or any time) alone. God calls us to come to Him with our burdens and trust Him with the outcome. In this, we remind ourselves of who really is in charge and allow Him to work in our lives even when the external circumstances don’t change.
- How does this testimony of the Israelites encourage you today?
- What are some unchangeable circumstances in your life? Have you prayed about these things? Why or why not?
- Pray and tell God about the unchangeable circumstances you wrestle with. Thank Him for being with you during your struggle.