What is meant by a “future and a hope” in Jeremiah 29:11, and what does that entail?
1. To completely understand this verse we need to look at the context. Consider reading chapters 28 and 29. God told the people of Judah that they will wait in exile for 70 years before He brings them back to Jerusalem; then He says “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
2. I read Romans 8:22-39. Here are some highlights (NASB):
- v 22-23—“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this,…….even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
- b 28—“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- v 31—“If God is for us, who is against us?”
- v 37—“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
3. I read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Here are highlights (NASB):
- v 7—“there was given me [Paul] a thorn in the flesh”
- v 8—“Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.”
- v 9—“…My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
- v 10—“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses,…..for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
4. I read Hebrews 6:13-20. (MSG because it’s much easier to understand):
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.
18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
5. What I think I learned.
- God has a plan and a future for us, in His time, and according to His way. I don’t know if we can know what the future is because it’s something that gets revealed to us as we live our lives.
- We can’t escape hardships: material, emotional, spiritual.
- God wants what is best for us; He is for us.
- We have hope not because of what is promised but because of who God is (down to his core). This hope anchors us, keeps us steady, through life’s storms. Because He is with me in the storm, I have hope.
- Holding onto hope is a spiritual discipline, part of the sanctification process. We have to keep trusting, surrendering every day. (“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phil. 12:12-13)