I really enjoy it when I get “stuck” on one particular scripture or line of thought when studying the Word over a period of days, how about you? I was in a bit of a fog first thing today when I sat down to my bible study program but seemed to instantly come awake as I scanned through different translations of Jeremiah 29:11. I was expecting to move on to another scripture, but God had different plans!
The Good News Bible concludes Jeremiah 29:11’s discussion on God’s plans for you and me by declaring that they are “plans to bring about the future you hope for.” It is kind of interesting to note that the first bible that I ever owned was a paperback version of the Good News Bible that my future wife gave me in our early dating days back in 1970!
I still remember walking down the hallway in my folk’s home on the day Piper presented it to me and thumbing through it thinking “Hummmm… interesting!” I also recall sitting at the kitchen table and trying to make heads or tails of it. To Piper it was a jewel of great price. I had a ways to go to reach her understanding of it… and something inside me seemed to be urging me on… and you know? It still does!
The thought that sprung forth in my mind this morning after reading that version was the nagging question ringing in my ears: “how badly do you want it?” In other words, what future am I expecting and am I willing to do whatever it takes to attain it? It was a question that was fresh inside me due to an incident in the wee hours of the morning.
After about an hour of sleep I was awakened by Piper’s coughing as she dealt with nasal drip. I was almost immediately brought to frustration and questioned the Lord as to why this keeps happening! After getting up on numerous occasions, I finally got back into bed and realized that He has the answer. I just needed to get serious about finding out what it is! Like with the dementia diagnosis, there isn’t much more that the medical field can do. We think we know what it is, but have not been able to find anything to arrest its symptoms. Once again I realized that He alone holds the key to Piper’s deliverance. At that point I simply began to thank Him for His answers and was able to get some semblance of sleep!
As I read further into chapter twenty nine of Jeremiah, I found the answer to the how’s and Who’s of getting answers. The next two verses tell us that we are to call upon Him and that He will answer us and that when we seek Him we will find Him “because you will seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 GNB) The King James Version uses the word “search” instead of “seek” and the modern God’s Word © translation talks about “wholeheartedly” seeking Him. The phrase “wholeheartedly seek” is probably the best understanding of the original Hebrew similar to the Greek word used in the King James’ translation of Hebrews 11:6 where the writer tells us “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
To “seek” in both places infers “to crave, search out, to seek with a demand and with application and to worship.” (Strong’s) It means to not give up until you get your answer or receive what you are expecting. A Pastor’s wife once described my wife as being like a bulldog. She explained that once Piper set her faith on something she would not let go until she received what she was believing for!” And I remind Piper of that statement on a regular basis as we stand for her total and complete healing.
That is the same kind of determination that you and I are to have as we seek directions and/or answers from God for the situations we face in this life! It really bothers me when I see others in the family who have basically given up any positive expectations or hopes for my wife’s future. But you know… I can’t let that move me or my faith. If anything it makes me hold on tighter to what we believe to be God’s will for her.
Is that the same way you approach your future? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to find out God’s plans for your life and then see it through until they are reached? Are you craving for God’s best for your life? I know that I am! I believe that kind of drive and determination marks you and me as one of God’s favorites! Would you agree?
Have a great mid-week. Stay on top of your faith in God’s Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s plans am I expecting to see through until complete fulfillment today?”