“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:12-14
This verse comes from a very famous chapter of the Bible. It’s famous for the verse directly before this, Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” It has become a popular verse for t-shirts, bumper stickers, and social media profiles because of its message of hope. God is telling the Isrealites (and by extension, us) that he doesn’t want evil for us, he wants welfare, hope, and a future. But often, people don’t read past verse 11, even though the following verses are equally as important. What follows are God’s instructions for how to obtain this plan that he has for us.
He tells us to call upon him, to pray to him, and that He will hear us. He says that He isn’t far away, He isn’t hiding. If you’ll just look for Him, seek after Him with all your heart, you will find him. Often when life gets discouraging we can feel as if God has forsaken or abandoned us. In this verse we see that it’s not true. It’s possible that other circumstances or sin may have hidden Him from your view, but He’s not hiding from you. All you have to do is earnestly look, and you’ll find Him. And when you do, there is redemption and restoration waiting for you. Be encouraged today, no matter what circumstances you face, in knowing that when you open your eyes and look, He’ll be there. He’ll be there waiting to restore you from all the distant and scattered places that sin or circumstance may have led you.
Open my eyes that I may seek you with all of my heart. Be found by me, and restore me to you. Give me hope in my future through faith in your promises.
In Jesus’ Name,