We begin to plan out or lives when we are young. We attend classes earmarked for certain career choices and we are all opinionated as to our beliefs. We look for verses to validate our plans to prosper without harm and have a bright, shiny future. Christians use Jeremiah 29:11 for just such a purpose. “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.” NIV
The verses in chapter 29 are part of a letter sent by Jeremiah to survivors from an exile. They had been through much in their lives, and no doubt the plans they had made had been interrupted and changed by the exile and by what God allowed in their lives. It is a promise to them, but if you read the next verses you find that part of God’s plan was for them to pray and seek him with all their hearts.
Our plans don’t matter. Only God’s plans are important. It’s fantastic when they are one and the same, but that isn’t always so. His plans for prosperity and hope for you might have more to do with salvation and heaven than money, fame, or a good job here on planet Earth. His plan may have many trials and tribulations like those people endured in exile simply to help mature you to be more like His Son Jesus.
It took us many years, but Lonnie and I have learned that any plans we make for the future are subject to change. It’s all about what God wants. For example, we have planned for years to build on some land we own, but we have delayed construction repeatedly. We laugh and joke about whether we will ever build a house there. If we do, I am excited! If we don’t, I am excited about whatever else God has for our lives. I live in peace because I know the greatest home is mine in heaven, and that one with Jesus is really all that matters. He really does have the best plan.