Jeremiah 29: 11-14


Jeremiah 29: 11-14

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 with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, “declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.

When we go through times of difficulty and pain then our faith is strained because we cannot understand how a loving God, Father, and Savior could allow his beloved children to suffer such horrific events in their lives. Were we created to suffer? NO. We were created to commune with God in the Garden of Eden offering our love and praises to our Creator. But that is not how things turned out and the choice made in that garden has affected all of creation as it all fell with man.

I struggled a long time with scripture because of two distinct reasons. First, people who claimed to know what God was saying in his Holy book were interpreting it through their own biases leaving the message empty and at times painful. Second, well meaning folks threw snippets of scripture at me in an attempt to lift me up but they instead felt like insincere platitudes or cruel reprimands. I felt so alone and so distant from God that I turned my rage toward him.

There was a point along my walk of faith that I told God:
“If you are not going to help us, then just stay out of our lives. I do not need you screwing with my life so I will do what you refuse to do. I will fix YOUR mistakes!”
Obviously, each of these words was saturated with pain, confusion and a feeling of utter abandonment. I used the anger and hatred to plow forward determined my life would not be a repeat of my Mothers’, who was disabled and raised three daughters in poverty. I was going to become a doctor and have power to control things and help the people God refused to help. That did not work exactly as I had planned. I then decided that I was going to teach, not as much power but still equipped with what I thought would be a life-changing movement that would bring me and my mother out of poverty, finally. That did not work out as I had planned. Next, I decided to become a therapist and travel around the nation as respected speaker to educate the masses about child abuse and sexual predation. However, I was beginning to realize this plan, too, was doomed to failure. By this time I was being practical knowing my health would not hold up as long as the “normal” young woman so I decided to plan my career track in a way that would allow me a lucrative career where I could help many people without the need to be physically active. I would achieve financial stability and finally be able to secure my mother’s and my future well being. Well, my plans failed here as well. Oh, I earned the education and degrees but I had run out of time to bring MY plans to conclusion. My health began to fail me by exponential leaps and I saw my future disintegrate before my eyes. By this time my faith had grown and I had learned many things allowing me to understand that God had never been my enemy…he was and would always be my champion.

Today, after decades of suffering and an understanding that my future holds more suffering along with further restrictions on my mobility and independence, I am in full acceptance of GOD’s plan for my life and not my own. God had used each and every one of my choices to reveal another part of who he really was and what he needed from me. He has an everlasting patience and boundless love that will accompany us upon our journeys whether we want him there or not. He is there waiting for us to understand how much we need him. I was not a very patient person but I have learned patience. I was not one who trusted God completely but now I give myself, my life, my soul to him with full abandon because I know beyond any doubt that his plans for my life are to prosper me and not to harm me. Without going into all the gory details of my struggles I will provide a picture depicting a “before” and “after” image of living within my plans and now living within God’s plans for my life. Some may see it as very negative but I do not. In the first image, I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do and in the second, I know beyond all doubt this is where God needs me to be right now and that is okay because I care little of what the world sees as success. It only matters to me what God sees when he gazes upon his daughter…love.

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In the first image I was happy but did not know joy or peace. In the second image I know joy, peace, love, acceptance, faith, perseverance, forgiveness, and all my waking efforts are to do the will of the Holy spirit who resides within me. Yes, prolonged, chronic illness has ravaged my body but not my faith as God holds me in his everlasting embrace and that is true and utter happiness.

When minor bad things happen use them to practice patience and to reveal to yourself whether you go to God for answers first or whether you rely on your own understanding, which is never enough. We cannot see the whole picture so our understanding of the now is severely restricted. God sees and knows all so we must put our total trust in his hands. When major, horrible, bitter things try to destroy us then we must cling to God even tighter than before. These horrible things whether they are minor or major are not from God but are borne of Satan. He is the target of our ire, for he is using all the power afforded to him in an effort to bring us down. He wants to rip our souls from our bodies and cast them to hell and sing victorious songs that he was able to destroy a follower of Christ.
God could stop it, all of it, in the blink of an eye but it is his unfathomable mercy and love that keeps him from stretching out his hand and beginning the rapture, the second coming, the return of our Savior. Most Christians see this as a glorious event, and it will be for believers but no horror, no fear, no depth of pain and suffering will ever compare to what is coming in the final days. God wants as many of his children to turn to him before that event occurs because he does not want to lose any of his children, whom he dearly loves. If you are a Christian then you know how the story ends and it is a wondrous, glorious, awe filled conclusion to the relationship between God and Mankind. However, many will perish, be judged, and cast into the eternal lake of fire. Each of us was created for a specific purpose. Each and every one of us was given specific gifts that were meant to equip us to survive Satan’s torments.

If we try to follow our own plans then we may find worldly success, if you are willing to compromise your beliefs and sacrifice a commandment here and there. The world will reward you but you are not fulfilling your purpose. If you are a follower of Christ then you will keep getting up each time Satan and his minions knock you down. It will not be easy nor pleasant but just as God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is revealed in your weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10). Not everyone will be called to great suffering, for God has not equipped all of his children with the ability to endure prolonged suffering. Not all of his followers will be broken. No some will be very successful and well known. Not all of his followers will taste the bitterness that humanity and the fall has to offer. However, all will be held accountable for their walk upon this Earth. No one will escape the suffering this world has to offer and not everyone will turn to God for help. They will try it on their own and some may even appear as if they are succeeding in this world. Yet, whether or not they recognize the existence of God, He is there and there will be a reckoning.

We are not going to understand or like everything we are going to encounter upon our path to Glory but it is critical that we do not stop. Get up, keep moving one step at a time because the more suffering you endure the greater the work and purpose the Lord is placing before you. The more attacks you survive and thrive beyond then the stronger warrior you become for the Almighty. While he does not cause the pain, heartache, and suffering he will use it to fashion you, mold you, teach you, and create within you a clean heart that will shine so brightly all will know you are a son or daughter of the almighty King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen.

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23 thoughts on “Jeremiah 29: 11-14

  1. Thank you for such a well detailed encouraging post Tina. Any trials that comes our way is not to destroy us but to encourage, transform, remold and make us a useful instrument in His own hand which He can use so that His power, His light, His grace, His love and mercy will be seen in us so, no matter how or what we feel about it, that cannot change His plan for our lives. The earlier we recognise Him as the owner of our live the better it is. His grace is sufficient for you Tina as Paul rightly said. Anytime I read your post, no matter what you are passing through but I see that your faith keep on increasing. Tina, you are blessed and more of His blessings to you in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Henry,

      I am humbled. My faith and peace continue to grow in the face of new obstacles and that is how I know I am in the will of God. When I would encounter new hardships I would become angry and discouraged but now I know that it is something that must happen in order to bring God’s plans to fruition. Peace and abundant blessings to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tina, your post made me teary-eyed. It is so nice to see you again here and share this lovely and inspiring post. How are you my friend? I do hope you are doing good and feeling well.

    We all know God is the greatest healer. You are blessed my friend. I am praying for you always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Arlene!

      I have been thinking much about all of the South Asian countries as typhoon after typhoon seem to be battering one nation after another. My prayers are always with you whether or not I am I present here. I am doing okay. I see another specialist this week but I am not concerned, for I know I am in the Lord’s hands. I pray you are well and I hope to catch up on my reading! I miss you folks so much as you feed my soul with light.
      I pray God’s mighty blessings upon you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Marlyn,

      Your precious words are food for my soul as it affirms that all my suffering is meaningful and useful and that is all I ever wanted. I want to use what God has given me to help others. Thank you for your affirmation. Your words are priceless to me. God bless you richly and provide protection over you and your family.

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  3. I am glad to hear you’ve found some peace and you believe and have a hope. Well, suffering is a terrible thing and all of us are able to find a rescue strategy, whatever works for a particular person. I had to learn living with aftereffects of a bad accident, as well, endless pain can be very upsetting, but I’m a realist and have done lots of medical research (30+ years), so I’m basically relating to causes, effects and prevention. Health care in North America, at least in Canada for people who are not celebrities and millionaires or alike, is just unacceptably bad. I feel sorry for all people who cannot enjoy at least simple good life without worries about the future and their health The outbreak of all kinds of terrible diseases, massively increasing numbers of suffering people is due to greed and to the fact, that they had to live and consume for almost 50 years completely poisonous foods, use contaminated water and breath polluted air, this all in the name of somebody’s profits. Everything comes at a cost. Chemicals and technical breakthrough were supposed to make life easier, more pleasurable. It happened straight the other way: humans do not progress any more and there is not even decline in their physical conditions and life expectancy, but also in moral values and all associated things. If nothing changes, every following generation will be just sicker and sicker, and the degradation of human DNA potential is at such a level, that we can possibly expect 30 more generations, and after that point we won’t be able to have children in a natural way because of completely destroyed genetic potential. So, we are still very happy because we still can live on the Earth, and there is something for everybody to discover, explore and to to find, even when that is a cure or relief or piece of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are correct, the inequalities in health care around the world are unacceptable. That fact has not changed for millennia; therefore, I do not believe it will change in our lifetimes. I too, have struggled with illness for 4 decades so I know what you are experiencing to some degree. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was 4 going on 5 years of age. I know far more about the medical community than I would like to but that is only a side effect of being involved in it so long. I understand the frustration of the disparity between the classes to obtain good healthcare, living arrangements, food, etc. Its been a struggle but we must find the glimmer of hope in each situation. I am a realist as well but I am also a faithful Christian so I desire to know exactly what is going on and what is required of me to keep my life moving forward. When I come to a block that cannot be solved then I give it to God and he carries it for me. There is so much beauty and good in this world but most concentrate on the evil and hardship. That will do your health or spirit no good as it poisons who you are day by day. Accept that the bad is going to happen but place your hope and energy into things that will bring about a positive change either in your life or someone elses’. I am nearing the end of my journey at 44 years of age. I can feel that I do not have many years left so I must do as much good as possible in the time I have left, for if I just choose to wait for death to claim me then I have wasted thousands of opportunities to better this world in which we reside. Never stop trying, never concentrate on the darkness alone, and never, ever, give up on you or on those around you, for there is always hope if we choose to see it and claim it. God bless you abundantly! Thank you dearly for your thoughtful comment!

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    • Dearest Cecilia,

      I am deeply humbled by your words. I am grateful if my journey inspires any and all who might come into contact with it. I am incredibly grateful that the Lord has allowed our journeys to intersect, for you are an amazing woman of strength and passion! Keep writing until everyone knows your name and more importantly the message you are bringing to light! God Bless you Cecilia!

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  4. Tina, my heart goes out to you. Physical pain is so hard to bear. Nevertheless, I am glad that you have trust in your Lord, and know that this imperfect body will be made perfect in Christ. What a joy it is to have this knowledge. Love you sister, pray for you so that you always have all the needed help and support to sustain your physical body.
    Thank you for your example of faith.

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    • I am so honored. Thank you for your encouragement and coveted prayers! I exist only on the prayers others offer upon my behalf. The Lord is good and has blessed me with the most incredible people upon my journey. I have also been blessed to use all my struggles to help others and that is very important to me because it gives my life meaning. My prayer is that I complete the job I was created for and bring comfort to others. I pray you have an abundantly blessed day knowing you are a loved child of God. God Bless!

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      • Thank you so much Tina! Spiritually, you are stronger than many others because you know the Lord. I only pray for your physical wellbeing, so that you have all the strength needed. Thank you again for your prayers and example. God Bless!

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      • Nah, I have no greater strength of faith for knowing Christ. It is easy to know him because his love hungers after us. After all, one just has to look at his beautiful creation to see him and know he is there. My faith grows everyday but that doesn’t mean there are not great things that challenge it. There were times in my life that it was so low as to be non-existent but when I realized that mankind did not know everything there was to know about God and that they misinterpret or twist his true image for their own gain often then the journey of getting to know my savior really began. I pray abundant blessings upon you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Dear Inese,

      Thank you for your tender kindness. I am adjusting to my new norm and starting to get back on track. I have been having problems receiving my wordpress notifications and I am trying to figure out how to fix it. I used to get at least 20 notifications per day but now I am only getting one or two. I have to figure it out. I just now remembered I could go on the reader and follow my people. I cannot believe I forgot that!

      I am doing better and heading in the right direction, praise God. How are you faring? My thoughts and prayers are with you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Tina, happy to hear you are getting there. As to WordPress – when you get a notification, look for a link in a small print – some Manager or something like that. You can go to the link and manage your notifications – Weekly or As posted. Check it out, may be it is what you are looking for.
        I am generally all right, just some annoyances and extra expenses since my car got “hit and run”. When one is getting older, these things take more time to sort out 🙂
        You take good care of yourself.
        I love these verses of Jeremiah. When we are anxious the Lord sends us the thoughts of peace. If He says that
        we need 70 years to learn our lessons,
        so it is. He knows what is better for us in eternal sense. I feel like I am a very “unworthy servant” but I never doubt His great love for me. He encourages me to pray to Him even though He knows what I am going to say, because He knows that I want to talk to Him, and He loves to hear from me. What a joy! The gift of Faith is the best possible gift, and I am so sorry that I unwrapped it later than I should have. Thank you for this post that I read again, and for the Scripture.
        Prayers and thoughts of courage and joy sent to you.

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      • Dearest Inese,

        Thank you for the WP pointers. I miss reading my friend’s work. It always gives me perspective beyond my own world but more importantly I am blessed to know so many wonderful people!
        There was a time that my life was surrounded by cruel and selfish people who ignited hatred and bitterness within me. My relationship with God has had its massive ups and downs (on my part) but he never stopped loving me and poured his eternal patience, love, grace, and forgiveness upon me. He took my choices and used them to lead me to a deeper relationship with him. I still struggle with thing I cannot understand but it is not our job to understand everything.
        I am so sorry to hear of the hit and run. It leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth and casts a shadow over one’s spirit when another’s poor choices end up hurting us. I have noticed that when we try to get closer to Christ or obey the urging of the spirit then Satan attacks to try to rob us of our joy and peace. Every time I begin working on my book on suffering, Satan attacks in some way so I definitely pray for courage and to equip the armor God has provided. No matter what he throws at us, we can take comfort knowing that Satan loses and God will avenge all the pain that serpent has caused his beloved children.
        We will always be unworthy of Christ’s love but that is what makes it that much sweeter knowing it is a free gift and is not dependent on our ability to earn it. I take great comfort in that knowledge.

        God loves hearing from his beloved children. He knows our needs and desires before we utter them but prayer is for us not Him. He knows we need that intimate connection with a Father that offers unconditional love, everlasting forgiveness, protection, comfort, joy and peace that can only be from him. To him we are all babies because 70 yrs is but a whisper in time so it is never too late to accept his embrace and seek the path the Lord has opened to us. More good can be accomplished in a mere moment by someone who loves the Lord than most folks can in a lifetime. Each of our paths are unique and if we allow him, Christ will use the talents he has gifted us to do the most good in this world. We cannot fix the entire world, that is God’s job but he does expect us to try to improve our little corner of existence.
        Thank you so very much for your prayers as I depend on the prayers of others to keep moving forward. It can be quite difficult at times but I feel the support and power in the prayers of my friends and loved ones. I am humbled by all who offer prayers up for my welfare. May your day be filled with those rare moments of awe that affirm God loves you and is rewarding you by glimpses of Heaven! God Bless and keep you safe all the days of your life.
        Love and hugs,

        Tina

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you dearest Tina! Everything you write is so close to my heart. I respect your difficult path, and pray for strength so that you can endure. I have experienced a great miracle in my life, and sure, many others I have no knowledge about. I have had a physical struggle against the darkness once, when the darkness was trying to stop me from doing a right thing. I wish I would do better after having these experiences, but I am just a weak human. Thank you again for your prayers and love! Know that love and prayers are always sent your way too. Hugs, Inese

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