Discover His heart: He will be found when we search for Him with our whole hearts
When someone has both good news and bad news to offer us, we are often asked, “Which do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news? I usually prefer to hear the bad news first so that the conversation can end on a high note. Some people feel they can only handle bad news after a healthy dose of good news to fortify them. Jeremiah had been sharing devastating news to the Israelites for quite some time, not that it had done much to change their lifestyles, but finally he was given words of hope and encouragement from the Lord for His people. And great news it was!
Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles in Babylon contained some of Scripture’s most quoted and encouraging verses, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.’” (11-13)
The best news on the planet today is that He has plans for us and He knows what they are even when we don’t. If I understood why He so often waits to share those plans with us, I would certainly explain it, but most of the time I just don’t know why. I do know that He reveals His hope-filled future for us at just the right moment, His right moment, and they are good plans, plans we could not have made through our own limited abilities.
In addition to the good advice from yesterday’s reading in Job to “glorify His mighty works, singing songs of praise” when we are waiting on Him, God has given us some tangible steps to follow while we wait on Him. “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! (5-6) In other words, we are encouraged to continue on in life with hopeful optimism, preparing for the future with what we know to do until His plans are revealed. During this time, we are challenged to look for Him wholeheartedly – enthusiastically, sincerely, unconditionally, with a whole heart – and He has promised that He will be found.
In the holding pattern, it’s easy for me to become discouraged and want to give up. Where are you, God? What is Your plan? But, of course, this response to my challenge is not the wholehearted response He desires. I have determined to keep building, planting and seeking Him with the understanding that He is listening and I will find Him!
Obviously, with all this activity there is little time for moping, pouting, withdrawing or hermiting. When we follow God’s instructions, we move forward with hope, confidence and prayer, waiting for the revelation of His good plans!
Moving Forward: Help me today, Lord, to follow your instructions and wholeheartedly look for You and Your plan as I build, plant, eat and do all that I know to do.
Tomorrow @ Mark 15-16