Do you have verses that are yours? One of my life verses is Jeremiah 29:11. I first connected with this verse when I was asked to choose a verse for my grandson at his baby dedication. God led me to Jeremiah 29:11 and I began to cling to the promises it holds. The connection for today and every day is the hope contained with God’s Words. “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.” This verse tells me God knows me and my future and He has good planned for me. Those things He has planned are designed to give me hope and a positive future. I am convinced that God loves me and wants the very best for me. I am convinced that God is good, desiring the best for me- for my good and His glory. How can I not have hope?
Does this mean that everything will always be good, happy and fulfilling? No. It means that whatever happens in my life, God can use it for my good. Romans 8:28 confirms this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Since I know and love Jesus, I am assured that He can and does use all things in my life for good. In the hard times, it is difficult to be assured of this, but looking back or looking at others suffering we can often get a glimpse of this truth. This calls for our faith and trust in Him.
I cling to the truths of Jeremiah 29:11 when hard times come, when I see amazing things happen, when I look and plan for the future and seek to know what He would have me do. I ask for His help and guidance as His will is perfect His direction is true. Let Psalm 25:4-5 be your prayer as it is mine. “Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
“I am the good shepherd.” Jesus made this bold statement in John 10:11 and 14. He knew the people understood the job of a shepherd and the sacrifice it entailed. They were to guard their sheep with their life both during the day and night against wolves, bears, and any disaster that might come their way. He was their first and only line of defense against the outside world. Jesus was identifying and claiming this same relationship and responsibility with those who were following Him then and those of us who would follow Him in the future. I love the passage in John 10 as it gives me comfort and assurance of who Jesus is to and for me.
“11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Jesus promises that He is the good type of shepherd that will stick with us always. He was not hired to watch over us but is committed to us because He loves us. He affirms that He has a relationship with us in verse 14 and He knows us and we know Him. Jesus says He willingly sacrificed His life to save us and bring us into a close relationship with Him and the Father. Romans 5:8 puts it this way, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
The attribute of being good belongs to God alone. It is His nature to be good where our nature is rooted in sin. So when Jesus says He is the good shepherd, He alone can claim this as He is God. Here are a few verses extolling God’s goodness: Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Titus 3:4 “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,” God’s goodness was truly shone when He sent Jesus to redeem us. He desires to know us and love us. Through Jesus we can be brought into the arms of our loving Father.
Jesus rightly claims to be our good shepherd, do you know Him? He knows you and desires to embrace you with His love and care. Step into His arms today and receive His love and protection and find that safe harbor in Him for eternity.
How much do you trust the Lord? Do know for sure He intends good for you? Knowing and trusting God is essential to faith but do not come automatically. As we walk daily with Jesus, study His Word and communicate with Him, He builds trust within us that is unshakable. We learn that He alone is sovereign and intends good for us. The psalmist reveals His trust in God in Psalm 119: 65-57. You have done many good things for me, Lord,
just as you promised.
66 I believe in your commands;
now teach me good judgment and knowledge.
67 I used to wander off until you disciplined me;
but now I closely follow your word.
The psalmist trusted God as God had been forever faithful to him and had always kept His promises. His belief was strengthen as he studied God’s Word, followed God’s commandments and saw the fruit of God in his life. He recognized God’s loving discipline upon his life and knew it was for his good.
Do you believe God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 that He intends good for you? “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. Do you know for certain that God is good? Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,” Do you know God’s love is unconditional and forever? Psalm 52:8 “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Claim these promises and know these truths about God today. Seek Him and He will give you assurance and hope. You will know and believe that God is good and intends the best for you now and for eternity. Even in the hard things of life, God can and does use them to mold and shape our character as He refines us to be more and more like Jesus. Be encouraged today by His love, care and tender mercies.
Each day is a walk of faith,