Mini Bites 38.0

I remember when I first read this verse. I was at risk of losing my scholarship and my friend sent me this verse to encourage me. It quickly became a staple part of scripture that I would recite whenever I was fearful, whenever I needed assurance that God was and always will be on my side.

So tonight, it pops up as one of the verses for the Hope devotional offered by the YouVersion Bible app.  And I've probably seen the heading of chapter 29 a thousand times but it hits me this thousand and one time.

The heading is A Letter to the Exiles and I got excited.

Context means everything especially in the bible. Although its truth lasts forever and can have an impact in the here and now, there was a reason why it was written in the first place.

When Jeremiah wrote this letter, it was addressed to the Israelites who were carried off into exile. The Israelites have this long history of turning away from God and following useless idols and turning back to God when they realize their mistakes. But this one time, God allowed the nation of Israel to scatter from its promise land and some were sent to Babylon.

The exiles thought life was over. Many thought they would never see their homeland again and that they were cast off from God forever. They probably thought that this was the last straw, that God wanted nothing to do with them.

But that's never the case with God. Jeremiah's letter was to remind the exiles that God didn't turn away from them, that God did not rinse His hands of them.

And that's what I want to remind you as well.

You can never be too far off for God. You may have gotten so off track that you can't tell what's up and down anymore. You may think that what you did is so unredeemable that God can't save you, let alone restore you. You may think you're finished but you're not.

God is not finished with you yet. You have to understand that you were born with a purpose, His word over your life. And God takes His word very seriously. When He speaks it, He expects it to happen. And that expectancy doesn't change when your life has been derailed by mistakes, by pain, by disappointments. He doesn't change His mind about you. He doesn't change His purpose for your life when bad things happen. He is as sure of you now as He was when you were first a thought in His mind.

God has a plan and it's the same one He had at the beginning of time.

It doesn't matter how long it's been, or where you are, God still wants to accomplish His personal word for your life.

He knew where you would be right now and He still put that plan into motion.

Don't write yourself off when God hasn't.

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