This week’s Pastor to Person is written by Pastor Franklin Garcia.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13
The nation of Israel has been sent into exile to Babylon and God announces through the prophet Jeremiah that they will be in exile for a long time, 70 years to be exact. God promises to be with them while they are in captivity, yet they were also to settle and pray for the welfare of the city. The efforts and anxiety to return faster were in vain because the 70 years in captivity were part of God’s plans for His people. Meanwhile, He promised to be with them and to help them prosper while they were in captivity. God wanted to bring them back into a close relationship with Him. Once this relationship was restored, He promised that He would listen if they wholeheartedly sought after Him. Captivity was within God’s plan; even though this situation was very difficult for His people, it was a plan of good and not evil. Many times, we wonder why God allows difficult situations in our lives, but if we look at these situations from His perspective, we will learn that His plans are good and not evil, plans that are only intended to bring us closer to him.