Thursday, February 23, 2017

Encouragement (Part 1): Week 6, Day 3

This is our last study of encouragement (for now).  You have made it through six weeks of faithful study of the Word of God.  I hope that you have been blessed by this study.  I know that I have been!  Today we are going to APPLY Jeremiah 29:1-14 to our lives, and find encouragement in God's Word.

Read through the passage again.

God is telling the people of Israel who were exiled to Babylon that they were going to remain there for a significant period of time, so they needed to live their lives.  Build their houses.  Plant their gardens.  Marry and have children.  Continue to grow the nation of Israel; do not let it decrease.  This is a mighty reminder that God is going to do what God says he is going to do.  He had been warning the people about this exile, and they continued to walk in their own ways.  Now, He was fulfilling what He had promised.  The people needed to recognize that God's ways were going to happen.

The people of Israel had made a major mistake in their lives.  They had listened to false teachers.  They prophesied falsely in the name of the Lord, and the people listened.  Instead of listening to Jeremiah, the true prophet of God, they chose to listen to these false teachers.  In present time, this world is full of false teachers.  How can we be sure that we do not listen to them?  We must know and understand what the Word of God says.  That is one of the reasons why Bible study is so important.  The more we study God's Word, the more we are able to discern when the teaching is false.

Even though the people of Israel had sinned against God, even though they had worshiped false idols, even though they had listened to false teachers, God is still merciful.  He is a just God, and He punishes sin.  Verse 10 says that the people will remain in Babylon for 70 years.  That is the length of their punishment - that is God's justice.  Verse 10 also says that after the 70 years, God was going to bring the people of Israel back to their land - that is God's mercy.  This is an awesome thing that we need to remember in our lives.  God punishes sin, making Him just.  God also forgives sin, making Him loving.  We have to respect every aspect of God equally.  But we can also expect forgiveness, if we confess our sins to God.  Look at the promise of God in 1 John 1:9.

Verse 11 shows the Sovereignty of God.  God is promising to His people a future and a hope.  His plans for His people are not calamity, but hope.  Yes, they are going to be in exile for 70 years.  They deserved that punishment,  But that is not the end of the nation of Israel.  God will prevail!

Verse 12 and 13 tell us that if we call to God, He will listen to us.  If we search for God with all of our hearts, we will find Him.

Once again in your notebooks, write out Jeremiah 29:10-14.  This is a mighty word of encouragement that we can hide in our hearts.  God knows the plans that He has for us.  He is not writing our stories day by day.  Our stories are already written, and they are stories of hope and a future.  We studied about the Highway of Holiness - that is our future.  We talked about Jesus Christ dying for our sins and giving us eternal life - that is our hope.

As believers, we have a responsibility to call out to the Lord and seek Him.  Yes, He is our future and hope, but we are told very clearly that we will only find God when we look for Him with all our hearts.  We cannot put half of our effort into our relationship with God.  He is worthy of, and demands, our whole heart.

Be encouraged, my sisters.  God has big plans for you.  Plans to give you a future and a hope.  But, you must remain faithful to Him.  The Israelites were unfaithful to God and had to spend 70 years in exile.  Remain faithful to God.  Stay in His Word.  Remember that He has awesome plans for you.

I have truly enjoyed this study.  There will be more in the future.  I hope that you will come back soon and see what else the Lord has to show us in His Word.
To read the previous posts on Encouragement, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 4: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 5: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 6: Day 1, Day 2


  1. Excellent encouragement! Exodus and the exile holds so many lessons in about faithfulness and waiting in the hard times. I appreciate this study- great job being an encourager in faith!

  2. "The more we study God's Word, the more we are able to discern when the teaching is false." This is SOOOO vital!! So often I have studied scripture and come to learn that what I was taught as a child has been completely wrong and is not supported in the Bible! It's so important that we each study God's word for ourselves and not just believe everything we are taught by others.

    1. Thanks, Keri! I agree with you. We have to know what the Word of GOD says. It IS vital!


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