Jeremiah 29:11 is a really popular verse for Christians to recite to give them hope. It says, “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.” I know a lot of Christians who trot that verse out of memory. It’s a good one. It should be memorized. It’s an encouraging verse.
But a lot of people don’t realize the context of that verse. It’s part of a letter to exiles from Israel who still have 70 years of captivity ahead of them! God isn’t saying those words to happy, comfortable people in their comfortable homes with their comfortable families. God is speaking to people going through some tough stuff–stuff that won’t necessarily get better in this life.
The principle application we get from this verse today is not that everything will work out TODAY. It’s that everything will work out SOME DAY. Ultimately God does have plans to prosper us and give us a hopeful future.