READ: Jeremiah 29-30
THINK: As you consider what Jeremiah endured for serving God, and with little if any apparent "success", you may feel that there's no way you could handle such adversity and remain true to God. But don't be anxious about what the future may hold for you. Regardless of where God leads you, He will give you the strength to accomplish and endure whatever He has in store. Take comfort in God's promise from 29:11: "‘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'." If that promise applied to God's people even after they had been unfaithful and suffered the consequences, then it certainly applies to you as you remain true to Him in spite of the difficulties that may bring.
RESPOND: What instructions did Jeremiah give to the Jewish exiles in Babylon? (See 29:1-23 note.) What were the people supposed to do for the cities in which they were exiled, and why (29:7)? What would happen at the end of seventy years (29:10)? (See 29:1-23 note, subpoint 5.) In what way does 29:11 encourage you personally? How would the time in exile change the people's relationship with God, and how would God's response to the people change a result (29:12-14)? (See 29:12-13 note.) According to verses 29:12-14, what are the conditions of God listening to your prayers and of you "finding" God when you need Him? What were the near future and distant future implications of Jeremiah's prophecies in chapters 30–33? (See 30:1-33:26 note.) To what future time period does Jeremiah refer in 30:7, and how will God save His people at that time? (See 30:7 note.) Who is the King the people will serve after that time, and why does Jeremiah refer to Him as David? (See 30:9-10 note.)
PRAY: Pray for the peace, prosperity and well-being of your city. Pray that God raises up effective ministries to reach your city for Christ. Pray for patience as God works out His plans for you in His perfect time and way.
ACT: Get involved in something that will help or improve your community, perhaps some kind of volunteer effort, service project or outreach ministry. Also, think of something significant you intend to complete in the near future. Is this God's intention, or might He prefer you to do something else? Then again, He may want you to set your sights even higher. Adjust your plans accordingly. Trust God for guidance so that things will turn out as He intends.
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