“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
Perhaps this is my favorite verse in scripture. I can not say that for certain because I have so many ‘favorites’. What I do know is that there is no other verse or passage in the Bible that I have turned to more and claimed more during a time of trial than this particular verse.
Isn’t it comforting to know that God does not think towards me thoughts of evil? I am sure that one of the things that Satan desires most is for me to question God’s thoughts of me. He brings questions to my mind during times of trial and hurt that are arrows of doubt aimed right at my soul. Satan wants me to doubt God’s love. He wants me to think that God is ‘out to get me’. The devil wants me to believe that God is judging me for sin in my life. Satan is thrilled when I allow my mind to ponder and question whether God really loves me and wants the best for me and my life.
Have you not been there? I have! When our daughter died of SIDS I wondered if God still loved me. I wondered why God had allowed this to happen to me; and I questioned why a God who loved me would allow me to go through such pain.
When life hurts Satan goes to work questioning God’s sovereignty and His love.
That is why we must go back to scripture. Scripture proves over and over that God will always love us. It amazes me that I would question the love of a God who was willing to send His only Son to die for my sins! I must accept by faith the promises of God’s Word. This is a promise of God.
God’s thoughts for me are those of peace; and my entire life has a course charted by God. That course is always for my good. A pastor’s wife, who is a dear friend of mine always says, “God never does anything TO me – only FOR me.”
What peaceful thoughts can I glean from God?
*I can rest in the fact that He never leaves me and I will never be alone.
“For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Heb 13:5b
*I can rest assured that when I am obedient to Him and love Him with all of my heart – He promises to have everything that comes into my life work out for my good and for His glory.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
*I can be assured that no matter how much life hurts (and it hurts a lot sometimes!) that all the hurt of this life can not even compare to how wonderful Heaven is going to be! (I LOVE this promise!)
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to e compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
*I can rest in the fact that the Bible tells me that God is very near to the broken hearted. He delights in comforting those who are hurting.
“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:18
*I can be assured that nothing that happens in this life can take me away from God’s love.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulations, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height , nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35, 38-39
I could go on and on with the promises from our loving God, found in the Bible. It is my responsibility when life hurts to claim these as truth. To accept them as fact even when my feelings make me think that these things could not possibly be true. It is during the times of greatest distress that God makes His love and presence known to us.
How comforting to know that even when life hurts, when our hearts feel that they are about to break – that God Himself thinks of us in a good way. His thoughts about us are of peace. He will bring us through each and every heartache! What a comfort to know His love, to claim His promises and to rest in His sovereignty.