May 17, 2024

Paulina De La Fuente
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Jeremiah‬ ‭29‬:‭4‬-‭7‬

God immediately gave the Israelites such a difficult challenge as exiles to invest long-term in the foreign land they were taken to. A challenge that had to push back drastically against their instincts to wait for their circumstances to improve, to be delivered from those who took them as exiles, or to see their homeland experience peace once again.

It’s so easy to see my own struggle to “make camp” or invest in people, circumstances, or places that feel difficult or contrary to my plans. However, what a trust exercise in our relationships with God to invest in exactly where He has us. To fully commit to His current plans for us. To trust God daily in our relationships, jobs, neighborhoods, finances, and future plans.

We can see a promise at the end of these verses that as we invest and seek the welfare of our communities instead of just our own, their welfare will also be our welfare. Their peace, our peace. Everyone benefits from God’s people growing in quantity and ability to display His love in every circumstance and season.

When we read further in Jeremiah 29, we come across one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, “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.” (Jer. 29:11). This promise anchors our ability to be faithful to God and where He has us in the day-to-day, knowing we are not doing so in vain. We know a God who has great plans for us and who always gives hope, even in the darkest seasons. Only He is able to help us endure, to invest even in difficulty, and to seek His will no matter what. Help us trust You, Lord.