Promises Fulfilled

17 Jan

People say not to count your chicks before they are hatched. 

Typically, I try not to, because while I always have hope that something great and new is on the horizon, I also realize that whatever it is on the horizon may not fit “my” idea of great and new.

In Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah sent a letter to those who were still exiled in Babylon.  His letter was one of promise and of hope, that the Lord Himself promised to intervene and return His people to their home!  After such a long time, no doubt the Lord’s people had to have felt forgotten.  How they must have worried!  How they must have grieved!  I have no doubts that they were still faithful in their beliefs, but they must have been despairing, or the Lord would not have inspired Jeremiah to sent this letter!

Today, many of us know the following verse:
“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.”  Jeremiah 29 v 11

We use this verse as a daily mantra.  We add it to our prayers.  Preachers use this as a foundation for so many sermons.  Musicians sing songs based on it!  This verse stands alone quite well as a promise of hope!

I grew up having this verse committed to memory.  Granted, now, as I struggle day to day to remember the simplest things, I have to look this verse up to read it because I no longer remember it word for word.  (Thank goodness for the Bible app on my phone!)

This morning, as I was contemplating how quickly the Lord answers prayer, this verse came to mind.  You see, after I finished writing “In the Light” on Tuesday, He answered my struggle and my effort with legitimate job offers that I had only ever dreamed I would get!  Plus, two of the four projects are from fellow Christians, asking for me to work from that frame of mind!  I was and am completely blown away and humbled by HIS faithfulness to ME!   I have been in reflection ever since- thankful on one hand, hopeful on the other, and trying not to pay attention to our “wise” adage about counting our chicks.

Its in light of counting those chicks that I dove into Jeremiah 29 this morning. 

I am not an advocate for most “promise” preaching.  I think many “promise preachers” have gone over board causing men and women to believe that God WILL grant us treasures and wealth while we are here on earth, during our earthly life.  While I DO believe He does this for SOME people, and that He DOES fulfill small promises in for EVERY person at different points in their lives, I do not think that the promises He gave us were meant for this life so much as for the next- otherwise the value of Christ’s sacrifice is diminished- for what need have we of treasures in Heaven when we have already been given them here?  So, I think “promise preaching” can be very misleading, planting false hope, and distracting us from our purpose in His will. 

Whew— sorry about the tangent there— please keep in mind, the above is just my opinion.

Anyway, I dove into Jeremiah 29, because while I do not believe He promises to just GIVE us everything we dream for during this life, He does promise “hope and a future.”  What’s interesting is if you continue on through the next two verses, He also tells us when we see His plan in action, it will cause us to turn even more to Him!

So let’s look at these verses together:
11 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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29 v 11-13

How true this is for me since Tuesday!  I am like anyone else… I tend to pray harder and more sincerely when I am hurting or needful in some way.  I am a pray-er in that I never cease praying.  A valuable lesson from my Mom- I pray with every breathe I take, so conversations with God are very real to me.  Yet, I still note that I pray harder and more sincerely when I am in need.  Granted, there is nothing wrong with this, because turning to Him when we truly need help is RIGHT!  Yet, as I look over my praying conversations, I feel a little guilty.  No matter how hard I try to be thankful first, and needy last, my prayers are riddled more with “please” than they are with “thank you.”

But since Tuesday, when He answered the promise of Jeremiah 29 v 11 so quickly and so obviously, I found that verses 12 and 13 became immediate truth as I hit my knees in awe and thankfulness for His interference on my behalf!

No, I am not going to become a millionaire with the opportunities He has given me.  I will be amply blessed to make enough from these projects to be able to pay my car payment.  But what more do I need?  He KNOWS how much my family needs to LIVE.  He KNOWS how much He has already given us, and how much more responsibility we can handle.  Yet, He still gives, and He gives KNOWING the plan He has for me, for my family, and for our future.  He gives perfectly according to His promise.

And I praise Him!!!  Who cares about those chicks when I have a loving and faithful God?

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