May 10, 2017

Catching Up | Jeremiah 29:11-14


Hello my friends!

This is my first week of summer break - no school!  Yippee!  =)

But I also have blog comments to respond to, emails to write, praying to do, and overall, just a lot of catching up as I adjust to this new "freedom".  Thus, I won't be posting a normal blog post this week.  I will be responding to all your far-too-long-ago comments that I haven't been able to answer over the last few weeks of finals and busyness.  =)  I also have some changes that I will be doing to Having a Heart Like His (nothing big...don't worry!).  Keep an eye out for those this week.  ;)

But I don't want to leave you without something to think about... so here's some verses I've been chewing on recently.  Perhaps you have thoughts to share on what they mean and how to apply it practically in our day-to-day life...?  I would appreciate insight.  =)
Jeremiah 29:11-14   "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. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 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."
"...when you search for Me with all your heart..."

What does that look like practically?  How do we search for God with all our heart?

I've missed interacting with you recently!  Hopefully we can get back into the normal flow of things soon... ♥

10 comments:

  1. Wow! Summer break already? I still have a little less than a month, but we are also on a year-round schedule. :)

    My thoughts on that passage actually start before those verses. Unfortunately, many people don't remember that the "criteria" for Jeremiah 29:11 is found in the previous verses where it says that this was written to the exiles—the ones that submitted to God's punishment for them.

    So there's some of my considerations regarding that. Thanks for the update and I look forward to reading more posts!

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    1. Yes, I'm very thankful for a break from school. ;) You're on a year-round schedule? How does that work? =)

      I completely agree, Bethany!! I didn't share the rest of the passage because it would have been too long...but today I re-read the first part of Jeremiah 29, and it gave me some different thoughts. (forgive me, for I know this will probably end up to be quite long)

      The chapter was, like you said, written to the exiles in Babylon. They were struggling. They might have assumed that God had abandoned them, and they were in the hands of their enemies. Verses 10-14 are a promise from God, telling them to turn their eyes to Him and He will deliver them! What wonderful news!

      Something else that is interesting is Jeremiah 24. In that chapter, God shows Jeremiah a vision of two baskets of figs. One basket is full of lush, very good figs - which represents those who were carried to Babylon as captives but would turn back to God and repent. The second basket had rotten, bad figs - which represented the former king of Judea and those who resisted God's important lesson by running away to Egypt or staying in Jerusalem.

      And to skip over to Proverbs, chapter 27 verse 18 reads, "Whoever keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit; So he who waits on his master will be honored."

      So these are my thoughts (and feel free to share insight!). God gave the Jews a promise in Jeremiah 29. He showed them that their current trial was, in fact, given to allow them to turn back to Him. When they did that, He would deliver them. But those who didn't turn back (the bad figs) would go through the trial and miss the all-important lesson.

      In the same way we will experience struggles, trials, and temptations. We can choose to be good or bad figs. If we, as Believers, seek to honor God in the easy AND hard times, it will be as if we are "keeping the fig tree" so we can "eat its fruit." And we know that if we wait on our Master (God!), we will be honored. (See Isaiah 40:31)

      I know that was long...sorry! I just needed to share what I have been thinking about. =) Do you think that these passages also represent God's blessings through trials? What are your thoughts, Bethany? ♥

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    2. You summed it up better than I ever could have, Hosanna! Thank you so much for sharing, it means a good deal to me that the bloggers I follow (and who follow me) are willing to have these discussions, share their thoughts, and ask for insight too. I'd love to get to know you better, maybe via email?

      Anyways, like I said, I think you summed this up extremely well. I love how you connected it to the fig verses. I think you are exactly right when you say that if we hold fast to God through both the good, and the bad, then we will be the good figs and be blessed.

      What a promise! When we 1) Submit to punishment, and 2) trust God through the trials, we will be honored.

      I hadn't really seen that side of things before, so I really appreciate you sharing your insight! Thank you! If you don't mind, I might incorporate some of this conversation into a blog post I've been planning on doing on Jeremiah 29:11, and how most people take it out of context.

      As far as the year-round schedule, instead of taking a long summer and longish winter, we take four major breaks throughout the year, one each quarter. Each is about 3 weeks long. So basically we have 9 weeks of school, 3 weeks off, 9 weeks on, 4 weeks off, and so forth. This way, we don't forget everything over a long summer, and it allows my family to take lots of trips during the year to places that would normally be full of people. (Ex, the Grand Canyon or Disneyland). I hope that makes sense. hehe.

      Wow, this comment just might be even a little longer than yours! Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly!

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    3. Yes, it is a blessing to have bloggers, readers, and friends who challenge us in our faith, Bethany! I'm so thankful for you and the other girls who interact on here. =)

      I don't mind at all if you include anything I said in your blog post. I just hope that it proves to be a blessing. ♥ I'll be looking forward to that Jeremiah 29:11 post. ;)

      I'm reading through Proverbs, and there are so many verses that relate to that area of submitting to punishment (and accepting correction). When we trust God through the difficult times, we will be honored (and, may I suggest, we will honor Him!). Thank you for summarizing that for me.

      Wow, that is a wonderful idea! Having a year-round schedule sounds perfect. I need to keep this in mind for if/when I homeschool one day. ;)

      I appreciate you sharing on here, Bethany! It's been encouraging and enjoyable to interact with you. =)

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    4. I'll keep this comment short and say that I agree with everything you said! I'll try to do that post soonish. I'm looking forward to doing it. :) And you are absolutely right in saying that we will also be honoring Him! I look forward to having more of these conversations at some point in the future. :)

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    5. Thank you for the great discussion, Bethany. =)

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  2. I hope you have a fun summer break, Hosanna!

    Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my very favorite verses! It is so encouraging!! :D

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    1. Thank you, Rebekah! I also find Jeremiah 29:11 very encouraging... isn't it wonderful that God gives us so many promises throughout the Bible?! We are very blessed and so loved. ♥

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  3. I've missed interacting with you too! ( I'm not saying that's your fault though - I've been slack :/) But I understand life gets crazy sometimes. You must be glad to be having a break!

    Hmm, that's a really good question. I always link it with that verse that says to love the Lord with our heart, mind, and soul (Matthew 27:37). Maybe practically it looks like putting Him first in our life, in our thoughts, and in our decision making. I also think about it as a deep hungering, yearning, for God, a seeking diligently for Him, and not letting anything keep us from Him.

    This is on a slightly different note, but I was having a conversation recently with a lady who felt she'd given God a chance, and He hadn't come through for her. As I listened to what she shared, I realized she'd been looking to people to explain God to her. When they couldn't explain answers to her questions, she ruled God out of the picture. But the thing was, it wasn't God who let her down; it was people. So, that was a reminder to me that seeking God with all our heart is just that: seeking God. It's about having a personal relationship, rather than trying to feed off others.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it all! What do you think seeking God looks like in everyday life?

    P.s If you would like to, please pray for the lady I mentioned above. After our conversation, she was going to find her Bible, and give God another chance. (Praise God - nothing I could've said would've prompted her to do that.) Thanks. :)

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    1. Mmm, I love your description of how we should deeply desire God... hungering, yearning, and seeking diligently. It is so difficult to put that into action though. I don't think we can create that desire in and of ourselves. Perhaps to love God with all our heart, we need to search for Him with all our heart... asking Him to give us that passionate desire and love. I have recently seen the importance of that searching. We have so many decisions, thoughts, actions... but do we bring them before Him in prayer? Do we search out His will? How can we love Him if we are not serving and seeking Him?

      Thank you for mentioning that conversation. And yes, I will pray for that lady - that she sees the Truth and builds a personal relationship with her Savior. Isn't it easy to look for wisdom and truth apart from God? If I'm struggling with a question it's often easier to bring it to a friend than to God. Thanks for that reminder, Jessica...it's so important. We aren't just "being Christians"... we are building and seeking after a relationship with the King of Kings.

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