For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11.
God anticipates that everything we experience in life will bring us closer to Him. Challenging circumstances are catalysts that serve to deepen our trust in God and remind us of his promises. When we go through hard times, we can find comfort in knowing that God is thinking about us in our times of adversity. Scripture paints the picture of God directing thoughts toward us (cf. Psalm 40:5 KJV). His thoughts are intentional, and we can trust his purposes are good. God is in control, even when we do not understand what he is doing.
When faced with difficult situations, our first response is usually to ask, "God, why did you do this?" rather than to seek to understand his purposes. God's actions are never divorced from his thoughts. He views our lives through the lens of his divine purpose. If we can embrace our circumstances as being conceived in God's mind, we can gain a new perspective. God does not find pleasure in our suffering(Lam. 3:33); even in our most difficult seasons of hardship or pain, we can trust that he will see us through.
Jeremiah 29:11 is a part of God's message to the southern kingdom of Judah while they were exiled in Babylon. Although Judah's captivity resulted from their disobedience and rebellion, Jeremiah prophesied that it was a part of God's divine plan for their ultimate deliverance (v. 10). Even during the Exile period, God demonstrated his providential care of his people. The end of the nation's captivity was foremost in God's thoughts. Years before the Babylonian siege, God sent words of assurance that their bondage was for an appointed time, and in the end, restoration would come.
Similarly, we can be assured that God has a plan for our future no matter what we are going through. Even in hardship or suffering that results from our poor choices, we can trust God's good intentions. He works all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28 emphasis added). Instead of focusing on individual incidents, we must embrace a panoramic view of God’s purpose for our lives. Every episode is a part of the tapestry that is being woven together by the loving hand of God, who has purposefully planned the outcome.
Today's Scripture is a message of hope. It proves that even in our darkest moments, God is with us. Whether we face tragedy, loss, or disappointment, we can trust that God is thinking good thoughts toward us. As we walk through life's trials, we can have confidence that God's intentions are good and that he has envisioned an end that works for our good.