Jeremiah 29:11, Not for You

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

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!

jarilissima

And here is a nice bite-sized video on the topic:

37 comments

    • Thanks so much, Mr. David 🙂 I just looked up that verse… very interesting.

      Although taking a short verse here and there may give us comfort and the warm-and-fuzzies, it’s ultimately best to read entire books of the Bible, that’s for sure.

      I’ll see if I can find your post on Jeremiah 29:11. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Peach roses are one of my most favorite things in the world! Anyway, this verse is horrifically taken out of context and it irritates me so much. I agree with David and 2 Chronicles 7:14 as well. NT Philippians 4:13 is another (which you mentioned recently in one of your posts). Scripture twisting is going to increase more and more as Progressive Christianity, Word of Faith and the NAR gain popularity in not holding to the doctrines of the Word being inerrant and infallible. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mine too! There’s a rose bush in my backyard that blooms in spring with orange roses and they are so beautiful 💖 I also like to use peach lipstick 🙂

      Scripture twisting is the ONLY way to make prosperity gospel, WoF, progressive Christianity… all of that work, because really, all of that is un-Biblical. And often directly the opposite of what the Bible says!

      I just feel so bad for people who might innocently believe someone like Joyce Meyer or Joel Osteen, and then think that God has harmed them when life happens. Can you imagine straying from God over a lie? 😦

      Thanks so much for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh man send me pics of your rose bushes anytime! I have thousands and thousands of pics of flowers esp roses!

        All of the different heresies and charlatans that you mentioned prey on the vulnerable, poor, desperate. God will hold those people accountable and I am thankful for that.

        Always enjoy your blog sister, hope you know that! Love and blessings!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I will send you photos… from last year because winter is still here! 😭

        And aren’t they what Jude refers to when he reads they are “wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever”?

        Oh, and that reminds me of Justin Peter’s videos called Clouds Without Water. I think you’ve seen them, but if not, I recommend them 👍

        And thanks so much! My blog is all over the place, I’m just glad people enjoy it sometimes, hahaha 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just another thought on Jeremiah 29:11 … whereas 2 Chronicles 7:14 is really misapplied, I think snippets of Jeremiah 29:11 can, carefully, be applied to the Christian, particularly regarding a hope and a future.

    Many times, the Bible speaks in general, rather than specific, truths. An example of this Psalm 91:14-16:

    “Because he has loved Me, I will save him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
    He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. I will satisfy him with a long life, And show him My salvation.”

    Obviously many Christians don’t live long lives, but we are looking here at a general truth. I think this is the case with Jeremiah 29:11.

    But one thing that does get under my skin is when pastors pull out verses without FIRST putting them in their proper context.

    I saw that Mandy mentioned Philippians 4:13 — I DID write on this one. Here’s the link:

    https://ettingerwriting.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/a-popular-verse-christians-get-wrong-2/

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a good point. I think people mature in the faith probably understand that. But when it is used as “nothing bad will ever happen to me,” as I see most often, then it gets messy.

      I’ll check out your post! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had just left the new age after a decade or so, and picked up his book called “Your Best Life Now.”

        Not even a full chapter in, and I said, “This is the new age 😑.” No kidding, I showed the book to my husband and said, “Look. This is new age!”

        And I’m shocked he’s a Christian best selling author! Probably because Christians are not familiar with the new age, so they can’t spot it (I assume).

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is amazing how many “Christians” are drawn in by him. They like the idea of physical rewards such as prosperity of health. They don’t like that Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me” — which is a reference to being willing to die for Christ.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband really likes him, so we listen to his lectures during car rides. Why car rides? Beats me. I guess it’s the only time when the family gets together and has to partake in the same activity. Joel is still a lot better than listening to boring lectures from professors about quantum physics, which is my husband’s current obsession right now.

    Personally, I am agnostic…. or I stand somewhere in the middle between religion and learn more towards spirituality. People are often surprised that I “live like a Christian” even though I don’t feel connected to religion, or God, despite being brought up “as a Christian.” Spirituality shares a lot of similar qualities as religion, but if we start to dig into philosophy, we will soon realize that neither spirituality or religion has all of the answers. I think people are searching or meaning in their lives so they listen to Joel because he’s relatable to many people who feel connected to the concepts that he teaches.

    Like

      • I’ve heard of Tim Ferriss although I haven’t subscribed to his podcasts. I agree that self-help podcasts are a lot more informative. Joel Osteen has a podcast channel too, which doesn’t surprise me at all.

        I mainly listen to entrepreneurial podcasts even though I am not an entrepreneur myself. I find them super informative and can still apply the concepts to personal life 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Taking scripture as a whole is so important. Thank you for reminding us that we should never grab out a verse and just shove it into our own ideas or slap it on as a magic charm. Scripture is God’s Word and we need to be very careful about how we use it and what the Lord is saying through it. Personally, I often pray, asking the Lord to help me never misrepresent nor misunderstand His Word. May God continue to guide and direct each one of us, especially as we handle His Word. Hugs💗

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very fascinating!! I love the points you made! Both good and bad things happen in life, and indeed, it’s damaging to think by having “enough faith” we’ll dodge the bad stuff. I just try to remember that things happen (good and bad), and try to learn to ride through the storms. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t take scriptures out of context, and you have to let scripture interpret scripture. In other words search the scriptures to find out how it all fits together. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have nothing kind to say about Joel Osteen or anyone who preaches prosperity gospel. Bad things happen to good people (I appreciate the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People) and vice versa. God loves me. God loves you. That’s what I know. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to hear that! Prosperity gospel is not Biblical in the least, and I personally find it cruel, because it puts the weigh of bad things happening on people’s shoulders.

      I’ve heard of that book. I should look it up…

      Yes, God loves everyone regardless of what life throws our way ❤️ Well said!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! You’re 100% right, and although many people hold this verse near and dear, there are more accurate places in the Bible where we can find comfort and joy 💖 Thank you, God bless you too!

      Like

  8. It’s just a reality that some people, God will never see fit to prosper them. I’ve accepted that and I get on with it. So, when they see other Christians prosper, they most realize that God means to prosper them but not others. Prosperity isn’t for some. Great post, Jarilissima.

    Liked by 1 person

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