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. Jeremiah 29:10-11, For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
I. God’s Time Limit
A. You’re not coming out until God says you’re coming out.
B. If it is a lesson to learn, the class must finish or if it is sin, you have to reap the harvest of the sins you’ve sown.
C. No matter what you do, you cannot escape the training of God or the judgment of God.
II. God’s Words
A. It’s been said that God whispers in our joy, but he yells in our pain. He had to get their attention.
B. He said, ‘I know the plans that I have for you.’
C. The reason some of us are in a mess today is because we thought we could plan our own lives.
D. Now we’re like Israel, in a strange place that has become our dwelling places.
E. 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.
F. Verse eleven isn’t just a reference to God’s Omniscience but it is a reference to his Omnipotence.
III. God’s Description of His Plan for Us
A. A Peace Plan
1. …with our enemies. …with God himself. 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.
B. A Plan without Calamity.
1. Calamity means disaster and misfortune.
2. Understand that the people of Israel during this time had gone through a lot. God had allowed the enemy to make them slaves. God knew that the people had a distorted perception of who he was. Trouble can make you see God in the wrong way. So the Lord says, the plans that I have for you does not include calamity, and if you go through something evil it will work for your good.
3. Some of us are still not trusting the Lord because of what happened in our past.
C. A Plan with a future and a hope.
1. God does not deal with his people based solely on their past or present condition but he consoles them and tells them that He’s working on their future. 2. God says I’m going to cause you to hope again. I’m going to cause you to believe again. And I’m going to bring you to an expectant end. Its not over just because it looks like its over, but theirs still time for me to connect you with what I have for you. But in the meantime, just hope.
3. In the meantime, have patience. So the Lord says, be encouraged in spite of your present situation, for I know the outcome. And don’t let anyone tell you differently.
IV. God’s Plan Unfolded
He says when you pray and come to me I will listen.
1. When you seek me and search for me with your whole heart I shall be found.
2. When you find me, I will restore you.
3. I will restore your fortunes.
4. I will pick up the broken pieces and put you back together.
5. I will bring you back unto myself.
God wants you to understand the need to;
1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths.
2. That He alone is God and knows the set time for your deliverance.