[This post is one of my Ten Bible Verses I Try to Live By]

I recently completed my list of Ten Bible Verses I Try to Live By. The first on that list is what I consider to be my “life verse”: the one I cling to and claim as God’s word spoken directly to me.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“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.”

Many years ago, when I was uncertain and very afraid of life, in the course of one week three people came up to me and said, “God wants you to know…” and spoke this verse to me. Sure, you say. It’s a common, popular verse when friends see you struggling and want to give you something to hold on to. That may be… except two of these three people had never met me.

One was a good friend. One was the mother of an acquaintance. And one was a stranger at church.

Needless to say, God got my attention. And I listened. And continue to do so to this day. Because He has never failed me.

Recently I found myself focusing on the verse in a different way. For a while I’ve been reciting it as a memory verse, calling out words like “hope” and “prosper” without much deep consideration. I felt God calling me to go deeper, and to tell you about it.

The verse itself is comprised of 29 words. Which makes it easier to remember that the verse is 29:11.

Word by word, I dissected the verse. I came up with a list of what it Is, and compared it with a list of what it Is Not.

Jeremiah 29:11

If we were to pay attention to how the enemy wants us to see ourselves in God’s design, he might try to tell us something else; something like this:

“Because some random stranger had a general idea that never included you,” whispers satan and the world at large, “Maybe you should think about choosing between your meager existence and what to do about it. You can’t make it any better. You’ll never be able to earn your position or any rewards. You’re not good enough. You’ve been forgotten and discarded, and there is no hope for you at all.”

But the TRUTH about what God is saying to you is this:

“Hey, YOU! Pay attention! The Almighty Abba, Your Daddy-God, is absolutely sure and confident about the detailed, specific blueprints He has designed for YOU! The Almighty Abba has publicly announced this Declaration in His Kingdom. He has directed His resources in YOUR favor, including guards to stop YOU from being attacked and wounded. He has also decreed that YOU be gifted with giddy anticipation as you wait for even better things to come and accompany YOU for ALL your upcoming days!”

I don’t know about you, but I choose to believe my Dad, not some liar. After all, Father Knows Best. Right?

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

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