“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
“God has a plan for me”
How does knowing that God knows you enough to know his plans for you help give you courage for your daily life?
Why do you think it would have been important for Jeremiah to mention that God had no plans to harm those who were returning form exile (the people he is speaking to here)? Why do people assume God is out to “get them?”
When you think about your future for God, what do you hope for?
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)
“God reminds us that all we have to do is ask.”
If you could sit down face-to-face with God and have a conversation, what sort of questions do you think you might want to ask him?
What things has God shown you that were “great and unsearchable?”
What have you asked for God to reveal to you today?
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.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
Regardless of what situation we find ourselves in, God is aware of us and wants his good for us.
What words would you use to describe your life when you feel hopeless or without direction? Would you say this is a common feeling for you?
How is your life affected knowing that God wants his good for you?
In what ways do you hope in God?
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. (Jeremiah 29.11, NIV)
“It was my dad’s favorite and he would tell me and my sister this verse a lot. It means a ton to me to this day.”
When the future looks uncertain to you, how important is it to know that God knows you and what is to come for you?
Why do you think some people hold a view that God is simply waiting for you to do something wrong so that he can punish you … that he really doesn’t want what’s best for you or even enjoys bringing calamity upon you? How can you show others a better picture of God, that he loves and wants good for us?
How can we be faithful to the future God has for us, even when it may be different from the one we might plan for ourselves?
Jeremiah 23.21-25.38; 2 Thessalonians 2.1-17; Psalm 84.1-12; Proverbs 25.15
For 23 years God sent his prophets to show Israel the ways they were traveling down the wrong path. 23 years. That seems like a long, long time. Why do you think the people could not understand what God was saying to them after 23 years? Why couldn’t they understand sooner?
Which group of people might one expect to be represented by the bad figs? The ones punished and sent into exile or the ones who remained and continued to live in Jerusalem? Why do you think this is the case?
Stand firm. Why can this be so difficult for us to do?
How have you seen a single day with God better than anything else you could experience?
In what ways can soft speech break bones?
Jeremiah 22.1-23.20; 2 Thessalonians 1.1-12; Psalm 82.1-8; Proverbs 25.9-10
Timely advice… valid criticism… trustworthy messengers. All simple moments, yet if we listen to them, able to bring us not only joy, but also good direction. When have you received timely advice that seemed like an apple of gold, a great treasure?
God asks his leaders to be fair-minded and just. Doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it? Then why do we often need to be reminded of this truth?
How is the name of Jesus honored through how you live?
When have you cried out to God, asking him not be silent? How did the situation resolve itself?
How disappointing are clouds that appear, yet bring no rain? Why does the proverb writer use this analogy?
Jeremiah 16.16-18.23; 1 Thessalonians 4.1-5.3; Psalm 81.1-16; Proverbs 25.6-8
We like to assume we know what is best for us and we are more than willing to tell God how he should act in our lives for that “best” to come to fruition. Unfortunately–at least from our way of thinking–God does not work that way. He is the potter and we are the clay. He, as the potter, has every right to form us in the way he deems best. (To even start over if he needs to!) And truth be known, his way really is better than our way of thinking. How how you wrestled with God’s acting on your life, only to discover that his way really was better?
In what ways do we attempt to create our own gods? How has that worked out for us?
What do we need to do to live in a way that please God?
How has God taken a load from your shoulders or a heavy task from your hands?
Why are we so prone to push our way in amongst great people rather than waiting for an invitation, as God suggests?