Heart Prep for Sunday, April 7th
Well, this week we have one of the key chapters in the book of Jeremiah (chapter 29) where the Lord tells His people how they are going to live, work, have families, and keep the faith while they’re in exiled in Babylon.
Of course, this chapter includes one of the most popular verses in the world — Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” And it’s popular today because its commonly misinterpreted and misapplied as some sort of prosperity promise. This verse gets a lot of press in the Christian world. It’s used on framed pictures, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, and even baby onesies.
And often, when someone recites this verse, they’re thinking that God will give them their own American Dream, with all the blessings they’ve dreamed of since childhood. But when you understand the context of the verse and what’s actually being communicated, it radically changes the message: God does indeed have a good plan for your life, but that doesn't mean it’s one of ease and comfort.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it this Sunday because I preached an entire sermon on it back in January of 2017 (The sermon audio failed that day, but you can find the manuscript here: https://www.potomachills.org/sermons/sermon/2017-01-22/plans-for-prosperity-jeremiah-29:11-13).
So, this chapter is about God’s good plan for the life of His people, it’s just not the plan they want. And often, life is just like that. Something happens that seems harsh, difficult, painful, and we wonder, “God, Why Me?” And God often answers … “because I love you.” “Well, Lord, this pain doesn’t feel much like love.” And God wants us to know that this is exactly what love feels like. So, let’s look at it together this Sunday and see how God wants us to respond to His painful love. See you there! Dr. Dave