Summary: Pray and seek God's will. He has a plan, and He can bless us wherever we are, even in the midst of hardship.
When you take a window seat on a flight, there are two times you would like to look out the window – while it is taking off and when it lands.
• You’ve lots to see then. Anything in between is just pitch darkness and just plain white.
Before, you see the clouds above you.
• Taking off after some time, you cross them and you find the clouds below you. The sky of clouds becomes the sea of clouds. And you can see thin slices of cloud formations.
• You can have a dark and overcast sky one minute, and then you see above the clouds and very bright and sunny sight. No wonder people say, behind every dark cloud, the sun is still shining.
And you are still in the atmosphere. We have not even gotten into outer space.
• The whole look has changed. You are looking from a completely different perspective.
• We are just 20-30,000 metres above ground. I wonder how God looks at things, from His angle! What kind of a view does He have?
You know why man needs to pray? Because we need to see things the way God sees them.
• We can only see things on ground level. We live mostly by sight, not by faith.
• When we pray, we are seeking to understand God’s ways and His will, and to see things from His perspective.
This is the experience of the people of Israel during Jeremiah’s time.
• They were now in exile in a foreign land, having lost their home, their jobs, and for many, their families.
• You know how sad they were? Psalm 137:1-4 reveals a little.
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 2 There on the poplars we hung our harps, 3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" 4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?
God has a Word for them. [Read Jer 29:4-14]
When everything is taken away from you, what you do not have is a hope and a future.
• And this is precisely what God will give them – a hope and a future.
• He said through prophet Jeremiah: “I know my plans for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (v.11)
God has the perspective of an eagle’s eye – it’s higher up and it’s farther away.
• God says He will bring them back from captivity. 70 years was the time God has set.
• This was His discipline. The people had turned away from Him. They worshipped idols and did evil in the sight of God.
• Warnings have been given but they did not heed them. So God ‘cane’ them using the Babylonians. When the disciplining is over, God will bring them back.
God has a plan. God always has a plan. He says to them: “I know my plans for you.”
• God does not second-guess what He wants to do with our life. It’s really scary if someone wants to gamble with your life that way.
• We seek God because He always has a plan for us.
God has a purpose in all that He allows in our lives, even if it means some hardships.
• Our life is not like a piece of log being tossed by the currents of this world.
• God says He has a plan for His people. They may not know it all the time, or understand His plan, but God does. He says, “I KNOW my plans for you…”
• He need not have to guess. God knows what He is doing in your life today.
That’s why the wisest man on earth – King Solomon says in the book of wisdom PROVERB 3:6 says “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
• Before this line, he says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”
• The wisest man on earth directs us to another Wisdom, the wisdom above his wisdom; the source of his own wisdom.
We often allow the circumstances to dictate us. That’s ground-level sight.
• We sit by the river, like the Israelites, and weep. There is no song in our heart.
• We forget that God is good. We forget that God has a purpose in everything He does. We forget what God has promised.
Jeremiah reminds the people, this is what the Lord says. He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you...”
• God’s intention for us is always good. Believe this today. We may not see it at first, but trust Him.