I received an email from I girl (now woman) I went to high school with today. She always meant a lot to me, whether she knew it or not. Now we are all grown up with husbands, wives, kids, jobs, and pets but it’s amazing how God can bring you right back to a moment. I am not talking about anything romantic, simply remembering times in high school.
In this email she told me of failed marriage and difficulty in her life… it broke my heart. It broke God’s heart too. The truth is, God’s heart has been broken for her over this subject since before time began. Imagine being Him? Having known every event since the beginning of time. Loving His children so much and experiencing their pain for all of eternity. You don’t think God feels your pain? Remember, you were created in His image. You have free will because He has free will. You have emotions because He has emotions.
The great news is that Jesus is our HOPE. One of the greatest scriptures in all the Bible is found in Jeremiah 29:11. Jeremiah was called the weeping prophet. He was angry and depressed, he didn’t want to be a prophet, but that was God’s desire. He wished that he had never been born; and in his desperation we are given a promise for us all to cling to.
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.
There’s enough in that tiny sentence to give us JOY forever. Let’s start with the first section. …I (God) know the thoughts I think toward you… The God of creation, the one who spoke everything into existence is thinking about you. Constantly. He never, ever stops thinking about you. Ever. Is this clear enough? GOD NEVER STOPS THINKING ABOUT YOU. I know what you might be thinking, “Yeah, I’d be thinking about me too. I am a disappointment. I sin constantly. I couldn’t keep my marriage together. I didn’t raise my kids right. I do drugs. I am perpetually drunk. I am disgusting.” Let’s continue on in scripture…
[the thoughts I have toward you are] thoughts of PEACE (or good thoughts) and not of evil
God is constantly thinking good things about you. He NEVER thinks a negative thought toward you. God isn’t waiting for you to screw up. He isn’t even surprised when you do. The great thing about God is that He knew everything we were going to do before we did it and He still chose to die on the cross for us. This is super important, it means that when we are disappointed in ourselves, HE ISN’T.
When Jesus was brought to be crucified, He warned His disciples that they would leave Him. You know the story. Peter claimed, “Not me Lord, I never will.” And Jesus calmly told him that Peter would deny that he even knew Him three times that very night! He did. Peter was afraid, scared, and a failure in his own eyes. After Jesus died on the cross, Peter went back to the thing he knew best – Fishing. After three days Jesus rose from the grave and what did He do? In John chapter 21 Jesus goes to the sea to find Peter.
Imagine how Peter felt? He knew that He had denied Jesus. He knew that He had “disappointed” God. And Jesus read His mail. The LORD turned to Peter and said “Peter, do you love me?” Peter replied, “Yes Lord, you know that I do.” Jesus replies with a couple responses, but in essence He was saying “That’s all that matters then.” He didn’t respond, “Well, you must not love me, otherwise you wouldn’t have denied me.” He didn’t say, “Prove it!”
He wanted Peter to know that his mistakes didn’t cost him the relationship. Jesus still loved him and there was still a place for him in the family. The thoughts that God thinks toward you are ALWAYS good thoughts. They are never negative. The last part of Jeremiah 29:11 says…
[the thoughts I have toward you are] to give you a future and a hope.
In Jesus there is always hope. Your future is secure in Him. You will live eternally by His side. All the cares of this world will pass away, but His love will endure forever. He will ALWAYS love you. ALWAYS.
“…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”