Summary: God’s plan include; peace, welfare, a future and the ability to hope again despite how present circumstances may be
Only God Knows How
In our society many people are wondering what’s going to happen next. People are making fortunes attempting to predict the future. They’ve made some of their money off Christians.. Cleo, the Jamaican born Floridian, has made countless millions off people in this country, but I wonder if she was able to predict those law suits which were taken against her.
The Bible tells us to be anxious for nothing. Don’t worry about a thing. For the devil’s goal is to rob us of today’s grace by worrying about tomorrows problem. Jesus told Martha, you’re worried about many things, but only one thing is necessary, and that’s spending more time with the Master.
I fear that many of us have gotten into trouble by trying to find answers to life’s problems apart from the life Giver. Paul the Apostle of Christ tells us that in the last days many will not endure sound doctrine, or teaching, but because they want to have their ears tickled they will seek out preachers and teachers that will tell them what they want to hear. Their attitude is this: don’t tell me I’m in sin, just tell me how I can be blessed. Don’t tell me how to live holy, just tell me how to get a break through. Don’t tell me how to love others the way God has loved me, just tell me how to accumulate more than I have without seeking the Lord.
This was the case in our lesson today. The children of Israel were in captivity because they listened to the false prophets instead of the True God. King Nebuchadnezzar, enemy to the children of God, became an instrument in the hands of God in order to discipline the Lord’s children. The same thing is happening today. God is using the enemy to humble this country so that we will turn our faces back toward God.
While in Babylon the children of Israel started looking for a word from God. So they went to false prophets, but God sent a word by the true Prophet Jeremiah. He said Jeremiah tell my people. (read verse10)
So he tells them in verse ten:
I. There is a time limit on how long you suffer.
A. You’re not coming out until God says you’re coming out.
B. You have to reap the harvest of the sins you’ve sown.
C. No matter what you do, you cannot escape the judgment of God.
II. God speaks in the midst of our captivity. Aren’t you glad that even when you’ve turned your back on God, He never turned His back on you.
A. It’s been said that God whispers in our joy, but he yells in our pain. He had to get their attention. And even though they were in bondage, God demonstrated His freedom to speak.
B. He said “I know the plans that I have for you.”
1.God has to remind us that He’s the only one that’s Omniscient. That He’s the one that knows the plans for your life. David said the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.
A. God said I know the plans, and the reason some of us are in a mess today is because we thought we could plan our own lives.
B. Now we’re like Israel, in a strange place that has become call our dwelling places.
2.God has to remind us that he knows what’s in front of us. In fact he’s gone before us, so when we get to the problem He’s already there.
3. Verse eleven isn’t isn’t just a reference to God’s Omniscience but also a reference to his Omnipotence. He says “I know”. I alone am God. I’m God all by myself. And because I’m God I know all things. “I never sleep nor slumber.” I never grow weary!
Pt. III. Not only does God speaks in the midst of our captivity, and tell us he knows the plans for our lives, but He also gives us a description of His plans. He says “I know that plans that I have for you…plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” There are four aspects to God’s plan for our lives.
A. A Plan which includes peace.
1. Understand that peace only has to be made with those who are our enemies. The children of Israel wasn’t God’s enemies but they behaved like God’s enemies. But in his wrath God remembered mercy.
2. God’s use of the word peace to show us his desire to be reconciled with a disobedient people. “Come let us reason together, even though your sins be like scarlet I will make them white as snow.”
3. Paul said that Jesus is our Peace, so God is literally saying I’m going to give you more of Myself. And I will be your peace. I will cause you to prosper.