It all started with a bumper sticker. A few years ago, six years ago to be exact, my family and I were on vacation at the beach. We headed back to our condo after eating dinner, and as we sat behind a car at a red light I saw it. It was an oval bumper sticker with the numbers 29:11 on it. I am a curious person, and when we got back to the room I was still thinking about the sticker. The curiosity to find out what that number meant led me to the internet, and up pops the verse I had heard hundreds of times before. “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.” From that moment on, I have had a great affection for that verse and those numbers. It was almost as if it was a divine moment in my spiritual life, and I would cling to this verse for many years to come. I would say it became my favorite verse for sure. This verse was an easy one to cling to in times of joy and peace, it was the bad days and months of negative news and outcomes that made me question this being my favorite verse.
Many events left me puzzled, because how could God want to prosper us and not harm us as it is stated in Jeremiah 29:11, but many times we are hurt and harmed in life? It was very hard for me to comprehend. I wondered many times where God is in all of this pain? If He can stop it why doesn't He? Then one day while studying this verse, the answer was presented to me. God allows us to live in this world, and the world is unfortunately full of many selfish people whose actions make day-to-day life harder than we would prefer it to be . That being said, God does promise us a hope and a future, but it does not mean that people will not act against His will or that illness won’t happen to us at some point or another. Just like in the time period and context that this verse was written for the people of Israel. God Knows the plan already, and it is our job to keep the faith and hope that He will Keep His promise to us. Those times of struggle are what builds up our faith, we come out stronger than before and God can use that for His good and ours, as well. Those times truly serve a purpose; we just have to Believe that it does!