"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
Like many situations in life there is a good news/bad news component to this promise.
The good news for these people (God's people) who found themselves in exile under the rule of the powerful Babylonians was that God has not forgotten you and that better days were in their future. They didn't have to be perfect to be included in His promise!
But, the bad news was it would be a long time until they would see those good days. They were going to be in exile for awhile. Quite awhile, actually.
So, Jeremiah offers some very practical and helpful advice. It was probably not the advice they were hoping for but it was nonetheless very good counsel. He told them essentially, make the best of where you are and what you have. Begin to prepare for this preferred future so that when it happens you will be ready to prosper!
Here are his words:
"This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease." Jeremiah 29:4-6
Several thousands of years later this is still good advice!
When you can't have or don't have life the way you want it to be, try to make it the best it can be. After all, isn't that what faith is? Isn't that what faith does? Faith believes God's promises and acts like it believes them! Faith prepares for God to fulfill what He has promised. Faith positions you for God's blessing! Faith does the best with what God has provided as it prepares for God to provide something better.
What has God promised you?
What if that promise is yet to be realized?
What will you do in the meantime? What will you do today?
Why not exercise faith and make the most of what God has already provided for today?