“‘When 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 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’” Jer. 29:10-11.
Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of the most encouraging verses for me in the Bible. It wasn’t until this morning that I considered the verse leading up to this treasure, and it opened up more understanding than just that four letter word – h o p e. Notice the LORD gave them a timeframe for their captivity. They would be enslaved for 70 years before they return to their promised land. This required acceptance, endurance, patience and all of the other graces of God that could not be accomplish in their own strength. His message was clear, ‘This is going to be a long journey but a journey that has an end, filled with prosperity and everything good. Hold on and have hope in Me rather than any hope in the resolution. You will move from hope to hope until my promise is realized. Settle in and build a life within your circumstances.’
I don’t know many people who aren’t holding on to hope in some area of their lives. We are all looking to the future for resolution, but is our hope in God or is our hope in the outcome? That is the question on the table this morning. We must anchor our hope in something bigger than our circumstances. ‘God calls us not to escape from our circumstances but to embrace His presence and His will in the midst of them. The question of hope, then, is not how we can get out of this situation. The question is how we can embrace God’s purposes and God’s work in the midst of this situation.’ Faith Limps, p. 103.
The providence of God was so precious for me when our daughter was living on the streets using drugs. He didn’t show me how long we would have to endure our Babylon. For the first six years, I placed my hope in the resolution of my daughter getting clean - my hope was in an outcome instead my Savior. It wasn’t until the last two years that I placed my hope in God and began to understand the true meaning of moving from hope to hope, and strength to strength. He gave me the same sweet message, ‘Brenda, hang on, don’t give up and settle in to this life. It may be a while but it will accomplish my plans for all of you. Hope in Me, not in the outcome.’ It was two more years before that beautiful day when God stood up, called down to His child and said, ‘Kristen, today is the day you are redeemed. Come to your Father and receive the plans I have for you.’
Whatever Babylon you are experiencing…whatever circumstances seem to enslave you…His message is for everyone, ‘Hold on, settle in and hope in Me alone. Build your life around it instead of running away from it. I am going to do things in your life that you cannot imagine.’