“For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”
Jeremiah 29:10-14 NKJV
A future and a hope
Many of us have found ourselves captive. Whether it be to sin, to earth bound ideologies and thoughts that are not of God, or chosen affiliations that focus more on the affairs of humanity and not eternal things. We find ourselves hopelessly in bondage.
In the midst of that bondage, we feel separated from God, distracted by baser things, looking for solutions and outcomes that are lower, and missing out on the higher things that can only be found in the Lord. We settle on temporal solutions which do not last, clinging to momentary victories that soon fade.
In the time of Jeremiah, the children of Israel were in bondage in Babylon, held captive. In the midst of the captivity, there were those who falsely proclaimed the bondage would soon be broken, that they would find themselves free. These were those who sought to make the others feel as if things were not that dire, that bondage was only momentary.
We too are in bondage to Babylon, for the great city Babel has given birth to a global system in which the values of the world have been corrupted. Our churches are filled with false teachers and jack leg preachers who tell us that things are not really that bad, that the captivity will be broken.
They work to make us feel comfortable, even as they lead us into compromise, causing those who follow to lay aside the values of Holy God, for the values of the world. For those who hav e chosen to follow Jesus, all of this can seem hopeless.
Reading Jeremiah twenty nine, I received my daily reminder that the Lord is near. Despite the darkness of these present times, we who are the born again followers of the Lord can have the assurance that we are indeed cared for, and that our Creator King is fully aware and has set for us a future and a hope.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.”
II Corinthians 4:7-12 NKJV
Paul offers many great examples for the followers of Jesus today, for many of the things that he endured, we do so as well. Though we have had comfort here in the United States, we will know trouble. In the midst of it, let us have have the heart of Paul, knowing that what we endure is for the furtherance of the Gospel.
In light of this, let us ask the Lord for revival, for a stirring, a quickening, that we be set ablaze with a passion to go and tell, a passion to seek the holiness of God, and a passion to toss aside the bondage of this world. Though the world we live in is in fetters, we have been freed from the yoke of bondage, made free in Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, we do not have to be in bondage to sin.
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
Romans 6:17-19 NKJV
Let us endeavor to walk in righteousness, for the Lord has given us His Holy Spirit, that we have the power to walk by faith. We also have the word of God, given us as a steady reminder of the heart and mind of the Father.
Just as the Lord has delivered each of us who believe from the bondage of sin, let us be faithful to go and tell others of this great salvation. The world needs to know that there is a future and a hope, that there is deliverance and restoration.
Let us point to our loving Father who loves us, is for us, is in us.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
We know that the Lord has a plan, and that He is coming again. We are nearing the end of our time in Babylon, and what awaits is a glorious future.
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