Let me start by saying thank You, God, that this was not another correction! I appreciate the chastening of the Lord, but lately there’s been a lot of it. So when I sat down this morning and asked what verse and heard Jeremiah 29:11, I thought I might be fooling myself since it’s been my life verse.
But I went anyway because it was the same kind of nudge He always gives, so I flipped open my KJV bible and read:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
See here’s the thing, this is the verse that caused me to give my life to the Lord, only it was out of the NIV version:
For 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.
The two verses don’t sound the same to me. Frankly the KJV doesn’t sound quite as good or passionate or something… to me anyway. God knew that because I’d avoided this verse in the KJV ever since He switched me to that version 4 years ago.
I felt the next nudge – I wonder what “expected” means. I looked it up and in the definition was “hope, expectation: hope, ground of hope, things hoped for – outcome” – suddenly I got excited because that sounded a lot like the “hope” the writers of the NIV had used.
Next I looked up “end” – “latter time / future time” was included in the definition, again, I could see where “future” had come from.
Then I backed up to “peace” and found a lot:
- completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
- completeness (in number)
- safety, soundness (in body)
- welfare, health, prosperity
- peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment
- peace, friendship
- of human relationships
- with God especially in covenant relationship
Finally, I looked up “evil” (remember, it says NOT these things!):
- bad, evil
- bad, disagreeable, malignant
- bad, unpleasant, evil (giving pain, unhappiness, misery)
- evil, displeasing
- bad (of its kind – land, water, etc)
- bad (of value)
- worse than, worst (comparison)
- sad, unhappy
- evil (hurtful)
- bad, unkind (vicious in disposition)
- bad, evil, wicked (ethically)
- in general, of persons, of thoughts
- deeds, actions
- evil, distress, misery, injury, calamity
- evil, distress, adversity
- evil, injury, wrong
- evil (ethical)
- evil, misery, distress, injury
- evil, misery, distress
- evil, injury, wrong
- evil (ethical)
So yeah, I’d say those things are harmful! Wow. So God, in His mercy, was not only reconfirming His promise to me, but was helping me to reconcile something in my head that had puzzled and concerned me for years. He is a good God. 🙂
Lord, thank You that You know what You have planned for me, and that it is GOOD stuff. You’re not trying to hurt me or injure me or mess with me – You are growing me up like any good parent would. You love me and want the best for me and are able to give it!
It is not just ok but encouraged for me to hope! Think and expect big. My Daddy is a BIG Daddy and fully able to provide beyond my expectations. Thank You. I love you 🙂
I just want to chew on this some more. I feel like He’s not done here yet… so lunch down and sufficiently updated on hurricane Ike… here I go.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you…
God isn’t just letting random things happen to me. The Hebrew word for thoughts implies plans and purpose. It’s not just God saying – “yeah, I know what I think of you!” No, He’s saying He knows what He has planned for me. And in Hebrews 13:8 it says He’s “the same yesterday and today and forever” – so it’s not like He’s got a plan for me and then is like – yeah, well never mind. And so just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything in that verse, I checked out the meaning of the Greek word autos, which is the word “same” and guess what it means? The same.
So He has plans and a purpose for me and it isn’t changing. And He knows what it is – He created me to fulfill the plan and purpose He has in mind. Wow. And here’s the things He tells me about those plans/purpose…
…thoughts of peace…
His plans for me include peace for me. It includes His taking care of me (welfare), completeness, soundness and safety… wow that’s lovely! He also has plans to keep my health and of course to prosper me. Merriam-Webster defines prosperity like this:
the condition of being successful or thriving : a state of good fortune; especially : financial success; a state of vigorous and healthy growth
Thank You, God! And His plan includes quiet and contentment, peace in human relationships and my relationship with Him… that is LOVELY! He has good plans for me!
…not of evil…
His plans do NOT include things that hurt me or are unpleasant and bring pain and misery. They’re not hurtful or unkind, wicked or vicious. Thank heavens! So they are NOT bad and they ARE good. Thank You, Lord. He is faithful. So when we look at things in our lives that ARE these “evil” things, we know they are not part of His plans for us. But we know that even things the enemy intends for evil, God will use for good (Genesis 50:20).
…to give you an expected end.
In the NIV it separated these into two separate thoughts – “hope and a future” – in some ways it’s actually more lovely as one thought. An expected end. He’s saying a good outcome. A bright outlook. Good stuff is coming – count on it. Wow… thank You Lord!
So yes, I actively wait as You’re plan for my life unfolds, but I can rest at ease because what You have in store is good. I walk out the plans and purpose You’ve had in mind from the beginning – they’re just only now coming clear to me. Thank You God!
I trust You. My world is safe in Your hands.