“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
This is a most pertinent text for us these days. It is a text I know by heart, and I’m sure many of you do, too. If you don’t have it memorized, take a minute and cram it into your brain right now because it speaks a word of truth from our God that is unmatchable.
First, it is an urging that believers understand that God has us in mind, and as Paul more or less repeats in Romans 8, the Lord’s plans are for our benefit and never our harm. The hope that Jeremiah preaches as from God Himself, is salvation—redemption—victory over sin, death, and the Devil through the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
And so by faith, we call upon our God. We pray to Him and He hears us. We seek Him, and just as He has promised, we find Him in Jesus. To seek God with all our heart, is to know by faith that in good times and bad, He is the shepherding deliverer.
This congregation and her leadership, by the power of the Holy Spirit, has so wonderfully been living the essence of this text. And God continues to show us in so many ways that our trust in Him is not misplaced. When the temptation arises in the midst of financial challenge to revert to gimmicky campaigns or to go back to spending practices that nearly sealed a dreadful fate for this parish, we have turned to the Lord and His Word, and it is there that we have found a secure footing each and every time…and remarkably, the storm clouds have always passed and the sun has dried up the water of our fears.
God is so good. He has plans for us. He knows them. And they are for our benefit and for the good of those He desires to save through the Gospel efforts of this congregation here in Hartland.
Thank you for knowing this. Thank you for your faithfulness as Christians who are desiring to live according to the Name placed upon you. Thank you for such diligence in your faithful attendance in worship, knowing that it is there that you receive what is necessary for such a sturdy faith. Thank you for your willingness to serve in and around this Christian family’s efforts—telling others about the joy you experience here, communicating the Gospel and encouraging people to join you, willingly and deliberately giving of your time and your talents to further the efforts of this Gospel-minded mission, and for supporting the hard work of both the paid and volunteer staff who serve tirelessly as the mortal cogs in an immortal machine.
God bless you. You mean the world to your pastor, and I thank God for you every single day.