There’s nothing sadder than someone that leaves the faith because they thought God made a promise that He did not make.
This is why I instantly stopped watching Joel Osteen, which I tried when I first became a Christian.
Joel Osteen will cry and tell you, “Your healing is coming!”
But Joel Osteen can promise whatever he wants and it doesn’t matter. He’s just some guy. What matters is: Did God promise you this?
And that’s my issue with people clinging to Jeremiah 29:11, which says:
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.
The immediate questions arise: Then why do some Christians still suffer? Why aren’t all Christians rich? Why do Christians still die at a young age, with no hope for a future?
From what I’ve seen, people will say, “Well, those weren’t really Christians” or “They didn’t have enough faith.” (Do they hear themselves?? That’s just cruel.)
And the immediate question to that is: Did John the Baptist not have “enough faith”? (He was beheaded. Hard to have a future without a head.)
Reality is what interferes the most with thinking Jeremiah 29:11 is a direct promise from God to us, because God does not lie, and yet Christians do suffer, sometimes do not prosper, and sometimes do not have a future. God had a plan for John the Baptist– and it included a beheading.
Jeremiah 29 is titled A Letter to the Exiles. Read it all here.
I would bluntly say: Jeremiah 29:11 is not for you. Or me.
God loves you and has His sovereign plans for you. God loves me and has His sovereign plans for me.
Whether we are rich or poor, doesn’t change His love. Whether we die old or young, are rich or poor, suffer through harm or don’t even get a hangnail… His love is still there.
I’m just saying that if Christians don’t read all of Jeremiah 29, but instead think that they’re never supposed to suffer through anything… and then they do suffer through something, that will make them feel like God has lied to them… when He hasn’t. It may even make them give up on the faith.
And that’s something that’s too sad to see. I’d rather ruffle feathers than see that, so…
Jeremiah 29:11 is not for you or me.
안녕! Bye! Ciao!
And here is a nice bite-sized video on the topic: