Weekly Devotional 042924

Hope and Strength

by Nikki Horne

“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.” 
–Jeremiah 29:11

This verse is truly one to look at for hope and strength. In Jeremiah chapter 29, the prophet Jeremiah addressed God’s exiled people in Babylon. This place was not their home, yet God announced through Jeremiah that they must remain in this land for 70 years! In verses 11-13, the assurance of redemption came. This was a promise that those who sought God with all their hearts would find Him no matter their past regrets or failures. He would return them to their home! 

God never intends your despair to be the end of the story. God gives us hope, and through that hope we can sense and be filled with joy. Life can be difficult. We may be facing very uncomfortable situations, “but the God of all comfort is right here with us” (2 Corinthians 1:3). 

I remember a very difficult time during college. It was a time where I felt lost, not sure what I wanted to do vocationally, wanting be in a relationship that would lead to getting married…there were so many things I prayed for, asking God to guide me and bring me out of my own personal despair. I prayed for a sign of hope from Him. I remember going to chapel one day at Point Loma Nazarene University and the pastor gave a message on Jeremiah 29:11. I thought to myself, “Huh, that’s cool, a verse on hope.” Later that week I went home to do laundry and visit family and friends. I also went to my home church and the lesson that was read that day was Jeremiah 29:11. I remember giggling out loud during the church service and just having a huge smile on my face. I knew right then and there that this wasn’t a coincidence. I knew that God had me; He knew what I needed right at this time in my life, and I had faith and trust that He was going to lead me exactly to where I needed to be.

As believers, we can count on the certainty of God’s nearness. Theologian Charles Spurgeon says it this way: “God is near, and therefore hope is near.”

Dear Lord, Thank You for sending Your Son to save us. Thank You for hope. May we always remember that You have the best plans for us. May we rely on that assurance to give us strength in You each and every day. Amen!

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