Devotion and Prayer for Week of May 6, 2012

Meditation for the Week of May 6, 2012


“ ‘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

More bad news …  Doesn’t it seem that for the last couple of years, all we hear is “more bad news?”  The economy is still in the tank and no one seems to know what to do to fix it.  Anemic job growth rates do not hold out much hope for the unemployed.  What’s going to happen if jobs aren’t available?  Gas prices are through the roof and recent projections show that it will reach five dollars a gallon by fall in some places (read Chicago.)  How much will it cost to drive across town by next October?  The Middle East, as is the norm, is a mess but it is a little bit more of mess these days with civil unrest spreading like a wildfire.  Who knows the outcome of that and how it will impact us in the United States?  Life seems more than a little bit unsettled.  What does the future hold?

I would like to know and as much as I wish I owned a crystal ball to tell me what awaits me in the future, I don’t.  Much of the future remains uncertain for both you and me.

Personally, that uncertainty is difficult for me.  My personality doesn’t abide by uncertainty very well.  I like all my ducks in a row.  I like my “t’s” crossed and my “i’s” dotted.  You name the cliché and that’s me.  An unknown future makes me more than a bit uneasy.

Some of you may feel the same way.  You don’t know what the future holds for you and that can cause a little anxiety.  However, while we may not know what our futures hold, that does not mean that our futures are not known.  The truth is that our futures are simply unknown to us.  God knows full well the plans he has for us.

As unsettled as the world is right now, to quote a friend, “God did not wake up this morning and say, ‘Gee I’ve forgotten all about Steve Smith and the saints at Grace!  What am I doing?’”  No, to be sure, God knows what he is doing and he has been watching over us, caring for us, and promises that he will continue to do so.

Here is where the words of Jeremiah become such a great comfort for us.  God made it clear to the people of Israel that he was fully in control of their future.  They were going through a tough time having been exiled to Babylon.  Things certainly seemed “uncertain” for them, but God reassured them that things were very certain for them.  He knew not only the plans he had for them but, he knew that they were plans to do them good and not harm.  He loved them and wanted them to know that his love extended to them no matter their situation.

For us today, God’s words to the people of Israel remain just as true.  Although we might be uncertain about our futures, our futures are totally certain to God.  Actually, let me rephrase that, “Our futures are totally secure in God.”   With the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for our sins we know that ours is a future of glory.  With his resurrection from the dead we know that ours is a future of eternal life.  In turbulent times and unsettled futures we rest secure in the pierced hands of Jesus who tasted death and the grave for us so that we might have a future with him forever.

The cross is always our point of anchor in unsettled and uneasy times.  Calvary is where we focus our attention.  There, God demonstrated his total commitment to us even to the point of death.  How comforting it is to know that he who gave his life for us is the very one watching over what will happen to us.

I guess the bottom line is this:  God will take care of us; he has promised.

Our Weekly Prayer

 Dear Lord, because You love me and provide for me I have all that I need.  Thank You for watching over me like a shepherd watches over his sheep.  Be with me this day also.  I need You every hour.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.