It is one of our favourite verses. The vastly quoted Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
How lovely, how wonderful, how indescribable that God thinks of us. How could the Creator of all things think of us?
An inventor of something might create something and move on to other projects but not our Creator who creates us yet still thinks of us and even in our sin, His thoughts for us are that of peace not evil. This is why He desires for every man to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
He thinks peace toward us to give us an expected end. Other translations say a future and a hope.
In the context of this verse, God was promising His people who were in exile as punishment for sin that we was going to restore them to their Promised Land after 70 years of captivity.
For this promise, God indeed restored the Israelites back after 70 years of captivity but when we quote this verse today? What is the end we desire? What is the hope and future we envisage?
Is it a successful career? A thriving business? A spot on Forbes list? The man or woman of your dreams? A beautiful wedding? Children? Debt-free? A lasting legacy?
These are good desires that we should *want* and these all end here. In this life. So what is our expected end? A well-attended funeral where great things are said of us? What is your future and hope?
When we were young, we were asked, ‘what do you want to be in the future?’ Some of us said lawyers, some doctors or whichever career we dreamed of in our young state. Today, by God’s grace, we are now those things and more but is our future diminished? Do we have nothing else to look forward to?
For the Christian, our expected end should be the Man, Christ Jesus. To see Him face to face. To reign with Him forever should be the future we think of when we determine our goals. Day by day, we endeavour to carry our cross and follow Him; would we have any other end than Christ Himself?
“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”1 Corinthians 15:19
Let us examine and test ourselves, our desires and priorities. The hope we carry each day would be one thing:
“..but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”1 John 3:2
To see Him and stand boldly before Him rather than shrink back in shame (1 John 2:28).
‘Think on these things…’