Start with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)
Read Scripture: Jeremiah 29:4-14
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
The prophet, Jeremiah is writing to those who were exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchnezzer. He instructs them that even in the midst of hardship to move ahead with their lives and to pray for those who are in authority, even those who enslaved them. God did not forget his people even though they were in captivity. He planned to give them a new beginning with a new purpose. Even turning them into new people, new creations. Jeremiah passionately told them not to lose hope as they could be confident in the future because they had God’s presence, the privilege of prayer and God’s grace.
Questions to Ponder:
In times of waiting, how do you tend to lose hope? Is it in people or things? Or God?
God.Thank you for the way in which you provide hope for me when things don’t seem to be as I hoped them to be. I want to seek you wholeheartedly. I want to live this season in a way that brings hope to every aspect of my life. Remind me that whatever I am going through, you will not break our communion and that I can call upon you to give me fresh hope for each day. Amen.
End with Posture of Silence and Solitude (2 minutes)