This Time
by Jana Kennedy-Spicer on May 12th, 2015

God is Thinking About Us

​“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you”, saith the Lord; “Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

Jeremiah chapter 29 verse 11, a scripture we probably all know, but most likely recite differently from above; other translations begin with “For I know the plans I have for you…”. This may be the most used scripture for graduates or anyone embarking on a new venture, new plans.
But when I read Jeremiah 29:11 this week in the King James Version, the words seem to leap off the pages and dance with new meaning for me. And even though I am crossing over into a new season full of fresh unknown adventure, God “knowing the plans for me” was not the revelation.
New for me was: God.  Thinks.  About.  Me.
Ok, does this not just reach down and grab you at your core to realize that the God of all creation is thinking about you and me?
Oh yes Lord, comfort and calm my insecurities and anxious mind!

​Let me set up for you what was going on at the time Jeremiah gave us what would end up being one of the most quoted scriptures in the Bible.
The Jewish people have been overrun and taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar and relocated out of their homeland and into Babylon. (remember the story of Daniel and his friends?)
Now, I cannot even imagine being in that situation, but I have found myself suddenly thrust into unknown and often unfriendly territory as life’s circumstances uprooted me from my familiar, warm and cozy comfort zone. Maybe you have been there also. Maybe you are there right now.
That’s where the Jews found themselves. So to offer His chosen people comfort and reassurance, God has Jeremiah write a letter to the captive elders. 

This time is from God. 

​“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon.” 
Jeremiah 29:4
​Right off the bat, Jeremiah lets the Jews know that God is not only fully aware of their situation; it didn’t even surprise Him because He orchestrated it.
God is in control friends. And there is nothing that comes our way that catches God off guard. Every situation in our lives passes through His hands and is orchestrated to bring about a specific result to accomplish a specific purpose.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary explains it this way: “It will be the bringing to pass of God's good word to them. This shall form God's purposes. We often do not know our own minds, but the Lord is never at an uncertainty. We are sometimes ready to fear that God's designs are all against us; but as to his own people, even that which seems evil, is for good.”

​This time is going to last awhile.

​“Build ye houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them. Take ye wives and beget sons and daughters, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters… And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.”
Jeremiah 29: 5-7
In verses 5 – 10, God’s message through Jeremiah is this “settle in folks, you’re going be here awhile”. This situation you find yourself in, isn’t going to be resolved tomorrow so you’re going to need to
  • Learn to live in it – this is your new normal for a time, accept it, don’t bemoan the past
  • Survive through it – plant, nurture, grow, don’t stop living and wither
  • Grow within it – learn what you couldn’t have learned without it, teach others
  • Find peace with it – be content, do not be complaining or disgruntled 
Welcome to your new normal, make yourself comfortable. I have a friend who is moving in to her new normal as a widowed mother of two. My mother is trying to adjust to her new normal of increased physical limitations due to declining health. My new normal is soon to be discovered just around the corner. Are you facing a new normal?

This time will not be resolved by others.

​“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.”
Jeremiah 29:8-10
​Can I just admit in this safe place that I like to be in control? Something shifts and circumstances change and I want to fix it. I want to find a solution, correct the issue and get back to normal. And it sounds like God’s chosen people were a bit the same because Jeremiah is passing along God’s message for them to not seek out other solutions for their situation. And to beware of those saying they have a solution because they do not. God is very specific in saying that He is the only solution.

​This time will bring a divine solution.

​“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you”, saith the Lord; “Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you an expected end.”
Jeremiah 29:11
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary explains: “He [God] will give them, not the expectations of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith; the end he has promised, which will be the best for them.”
I tend to think I’m a “glass is half full” kind of gal, I try to look for the positive in most situations; I try to ‘believe the best before I assume the worst*’. But when my happy gets bumped too hard and things begin to look bleak, it becomes tempting to focus on the negative and to fear the worst. Or I might conceive the outcome that I desire, including wanting my new normal to get back to my old normal and quickly.
But God already has an end solution in mind. In fact, God’s solution was formed at the same time the situation was instigated. God’s expected end is to work something good in our life, to work something good for His Kingdom.
  • Am I resting in the confidence that God is in control or am I anxiously trying to control the situation?
  • Am I trusting God’s faithfulness or am I whining and complaining about the situation?
  • Am I seeking answers from any means other than God?
  • Am I exercising faith in believing God will work my situation for good? 
I have to admit that I am thankful to God for the lessons He is teaching me from His scriptures. They are not random. They are not coincidence. God is faithful to meet us right where we are and to meet our needs.
I have a new normal on the horizon. I don’t really know what it will be like. In some ways, I feel it might be less than this now normal, yet in other ways I know it will be so much more. So I am waiting with expectant anticipation as each day passes and I come 24 hours closer to a brand new normal.

Oh Heavenly Father, it is truly beyond my comprehension just how much you love me, how you know me intimately and that you actually think of me. I admit that at times I feel as though I am just a speck on this Earth, being randomly tossed around back and forth, with my days just filled with random happenings. But no, you are in control, of every bump and bruise, of every turn and jump. And you are orchestrating these days of my life into a grand lifetime, for my good and for your glory. Oh Lord, thank you for loving me so much! Forgive me for taking your love for granted and for falsely believing - in my pride - that I somehow have everything under control. Thank you for the life you have planned out for me, and thank you for equipping me with the strength to live it. May all I do always bring glory to you. AMEN 

Blessings Soul Friends,
​Jana Kennedy-Spicer is a blogger, graphic artist, Bible teacher and speaker passionate about inspiring and encouraging women on their daily walk with Christ.
​Read Jana's Testimony
​This post is part of our new series #SoulInspired
and #DocumentedFaith with artist Stephanie Ackerman

I'm also linking up with
Kellie Balarie's #RaRaLinkup over at Purposeful Faith
Holly Barrett's #TestimonyTuesday at Reclaiming A Redeemed Life
Darlene Schacht's #Titus2sday at The Time-Warp Wife

Posted in Soul Inspired    Tagged with Jeremiah, plans, #30DaysofBibleLettering


Betsy de Cruz - May 12th, 2015 at 1:47 AM
I love your commentary on Jeremiah 29:11, how you give the context and also link it with our lives. This is good Bible study! Oh yes, I'm breathing in deep myself and asking God for grace to embrace the new normal that awaits me around the bend too!
Jana - May 12th, 2015 at 8:48 AM
Betsy - there's just something exciting about what waits around the corner. Praying for you and all that God will do in your new normal. Blessings sweet friend,
Sarah Knepper - May 12th, 2015 at 7:15 AM
Jana, this is such a timely post for me. I know God lined us up beside one another over at Holly's link-up. Thank you for your wisdom here, God has surely given you a talent for understanding scripture.
Jana - May 12th, 2015 at 8:50 AM
Just love how God orchestrates every single detail for us! So blessed to be linkup neighbors!
Abby McDonald - May 12th, 2015 at 10:30 AM
I can honestly say I've never read this verse in the KJV and wow, what a difference I get from the words and the meaning. I love how different translations can bring the Word to life in a new way. Thank you for reminding me that even in times of waiting I can still grow and fulfill the plans God has for me. Lovely post, Jana.
Jana - May 12th, 2015 at 1:05 PM
Thank you Abby for your kind words. I love reading scripture in different translations also. God is so wonderful to always speak to me thru His word.

Blessings sweet friend
Susan Mead - May 16th, 2015 at 7:20 PM

New for me was: God. Thinks. About. Me.
A M E N!!! And thank God. His is Beautiful, Jana. Thank you for sharing with us. Susan
gleaning in fields of grace - May 19th, 2015 at 3:43 AM
I have been getting ready for changes in my life...and coming around to accepting them. This was good for me to read this morning.
Jana - May 19th, 2015 at 9:26 AM
So happy you dropped by today! I love when God schedules a divine appointment for us! Blessings,
Babra - May 19th, 2015 at 8:44 AM
Thank you for this.Am going thru a situation& at times, I wish for my old life,not this uncertainty & not knowing.One thing am learning is that trusting God is all I have.The experience am going thru made me turn back to God,as he's the only one that can.& he has given me peace,& the promise that he's always with me& nothing catches him by surprise,which is what I treasure & need most.
Jana - May 19th, 2015 at 9:28 AM
Babra, I am praying for God to surround you at this time and make His presence known like never before. Change can be scary, but God is so faithful. We just have to step out in faith. Celebrating your new closeness with the Lord and the peace He has brought upon your life.
Lillie Brown - May 22nd, 2015 at 8:19 AM
Thank you Lord for having a plan for my life in Jesus name and that it's for my good.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage - June 4th, 2015 at 6:08 AM
Apples of Gold in Settings of Silver...
I'll tweet this.
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