For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope»(Jeremiah 29: I l).
Have you ever witnessed someone’s reaction to a broken soda vending machine? The person inserts the coin, chooses the desired bottle or can, pushes the button, and . . . the machine doesn’t dispense anything! It swallows the money and the drink doesn’t come out. The person’s first reaction is to try to get his other money back; but if this doesn’t work, the person usually gets angry, hits the machine and may even kick and curse it.
Today’s text is a very appealing promise, but we should not react like someone dealing with a malfunctioning vending machine and get annoyed with God because He does not give us the answer we want. It is precisely for this reason that it took several decades for the words of Jeremiah 29: 1 1 to be fulfilled. King Nebuchadnezzar besieged and demolished Jerusalem several times from the year 607 BC onward. He looted the Temple and the royal palace and took all the gold objects that Solomon had made. He took thousands of captives—the best and the most noble citizens of the people of Israel, soldiers, craftsmen, blacksmiths . . . and “none remained except the poorest people of the land»(2 Kings 24:14).
In the midst of this catastrophe, the prophet Hananiah (Jer. 28) offered an easy and favorable solution: everything would be restored very soon and the captives would return within two years. In reality, it was a false prophecy, for the Lord had already told Jeremiah the true revelation which he disclosed in a letter addressed to the exiled elders, priests, prophets, and to all Israelites from Babylon. That’s where it is mentioned that the captivity would last seventy years (Jer. 29:10). It is also where the marvelous promise was included, «For I know the thoughts that I think toward you . . . thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope» (v. I l).
We frequently get discouraged because the answer to our prayers has not yet come, which may lead us to feel abandoned and worthless. However, time belongs to God and He always knows what is best for us and when He must act. Reflect onto day’s promise which states that God’s thoughts toward you are of peace and not of evil; this promise is true even if its fulfillment seems to be delayed. As you wait, search for God just like it says in Jeremiah 29: «Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart” Jer. 29:12, 13).