Our memory verse this month is found in Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah spoke these words to the Children of Israel who were under the domination of the Egyptian and then Babylonian Empires before eventually being carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. It must have been so difficult to live under the domination of your enemies and then be forced out of your own country.
Verse 11 of Jeremiah 29 was spoken to people in the midst of hardship and suffering; people who were likely desiring an immediate rescue, but God's response is not to provide immediate escape from the difficult situation. Rather, God promises that He has a plan to prosper them in the midst of their current situation. As we face difficult situations in our lives, we must take comfort knowing that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our current situation, He can work through it to prosper us and give us a hope and a future.
Furthermore, Christians can take comfort in knowing that God promises to be there for us in these situations. For in the verses immediately following Jeremiah 29:11, God proclaims through Jeremiah that when you "call on me and come and pray to me... I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 19:12-13).
As we are finally moving out of our forced hibernation - actually seeing smiles on peoples' faces, some will find it difficult to reclaim their freedom. After all, it felt secure when we were not out in the world, but I do not believe God wants us to stay hidden. We have a responsibility to be good disciples which means we need to be out in the world setting a good example of spreading love. Put aside your fears and remember that God has plans for you ... "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:"
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.