Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to New Testament Believers Today?

Shared from Randy Alcorn’s Eternal Perspectives Ministries (EPM) blog.

Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to New Testament Believers Today?

By Randy Alcorn

A few times I’ve shared Jeremiah 29:11 on my Facebook page. The verse says, “I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope” (CEB). I always get some pushback on this. Recently a thoughtful reader asked, “But for whom and when does this apply? Is the context meant to include me/us?”

The “you” in Jeremiah 29:11 is plural. It’s spoken not to an individual but to a nation—God’s people Israel, in exile in Babylon. Seven verses earlier it says: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon …” (Jeremiah 29:4). And just a verse earlier it explains that exile will last seventy years. In the near context there is a false prophet, Hananiah, who is basically preaching health and wealth gospel, telling lies to the people that all would be well and that Babylon would be defeated. Jeremiah, the true prophet, who is speaking a message of God’s judgment on Israel, is rejected. God is promising to bring Israel back from the seventy year exile, and that will fulfill His plans for peace and a future of hope.

But the promise of God for all His people is revealed in this passage: that regardless of what judgment and suffering might happen first, God’s ultimate plans for His children (as much for us as for Old Testament Israel) are for good and not evil, for welfare and hope.

Yes, Jeremiah was writing to his fellow Israelites. But so were Moses, Samuel, and David, and nearly all the prophets. That’s true of virtually the entire Old Testament, which in hundreds of cases the New Testament freely applies to the church, followers of Christ, Jews and Gentiles alike. Israel was God’s people, and it’s no stretch to say that today’s believers, the church, are also God’s people. So verses that were written to Israel are also written for the church.

Read the rest here.

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The ONE Who Holds the Future

None of us knows what the future holds
but we do know the ONE
who holds the future.

Romans8-18-19-WhoHoldsTheFuture--AMP

I consider that our present sufferings
are not worth comparing with the glory
that will be revealed in us.

For the creation waits in eager expectation
for the children of God to be revealed.
—Romans 8:18-19

Anna-Coffee2The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.

A Future Only God Can See

Corrie ten Boom and her family helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust by making their home a refuge (a hiding place) for Jews and members of the Dutch underground. Her family was arrested in 1944 due to an informant and her Corrie’s father died 10 days later while in prison. One of Corrie’s sisters, a brother and a nephew were released but Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie were sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. Of her family members who were imprisoned, Corrie was the only survivor.

One of the books Corrie ten Boom wrote about her experiences is called The Hiding Place. The quote above is from this book. Here are several others:

“Dear Jesus…how foolish of me to have called for human help when You are here.”

“There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – let us pray that we may always know it!”

“In darkness God’s truth shines most clear.”

“Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.”

“How often it is a small, almost unconscious event that makes a turning point.”

“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him….Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness….And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”

How I long and pray for this kind of faith!