Terry R. Baughman
“I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive” (Jeremiah 29:14).
God’s promise is to all who will return to Him. While the words of a prophet were not always welcome news or encouraging to hear, these verses from Jeremiah evoke great hope and tremendous encouragement. After years of exile, the captives were given a solemn word from the Lord, “I have a plan for you” (29:10), “I am thinking good thoughts about you and will give you a future and a hope” (29:11), “I will answer you when you pray” (29:12–13), and, “I will bring you back from your captivity” (29:14). The assurance is that when we call He will answer. When we seek He will be found.
How incredibly awesome it must have been to be living near the end of the predicted years of judgment and see deliverance and restoration gleaming on the horizon. After an entire generation had passed living in a prison camp, contributing menial labor, and counting endless days, it had to be almost unbelievable that they would soon see an end of their subjugation and relief from their oppression.
God looks beyond our present situation and sees the ultimate resolution. He is thinking about us and planning for our future. He is attentive to our prayer and responsive to our heart’s cry. His Word is filled with promises and they are conditional but irrevocable. In another situation the Lord promised, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Not only are God’s promises made to Israel, Judah, kings, and prophets, they are given throughout the Scripture and extended to all people and all generations. The prophecy of Joel that was initially given to the nation of Israel was ultimately inclusive when God promised, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28–29).
We have promises from God. They are settled; they are dependable. The Psalmist said, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations” (Psalm 119:89–90). Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35). His Word is the final word.
Paul declared, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). We rest assured in His promises.
Jesus gave the same assurance in the Gospels that the prophet gave to the exiles. He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). In our time of need He will be present; in our pursuit of God we will find Him accessible. The writer of Hebrews recalled the promise, “He Himself has said,’I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).
God has given His Word and He will never violate His covenant or His promises. You can trust in Him. Believe in God’s promises!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).