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“For I know the plans I have for you,”  this is the Lord’s declaration, “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 CSB

This blessing comes from a letter Jeremiah wrote to the exiles that Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon (Jeremiah 29:1-3 CSB).  It is a message of hope to people who have lost their homes. Not all of the exiles made it back to Jerusalem, choosing to stay where they were instead, becoming the ancestors of Iraqi Jews.  The journey back didn’t come all at once, it was gradual over time.

The same can be said of our faith journey.  Once we realize we are all sinners and turn our hearts towards God, it’s a gradual process.  It doesn’t happen overnight. We have to shift our thinking from our old ways to what God says and thinks about us.  I love this example from “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”:

Imagine two people who are quitting smoking are offered a cigarette.  The first person says, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit”. The second person says, “No thanks, I’m not a smoker.”  Do you see the difference in their responses? The first person doesn’t truly believe they’re no longer a smoker, they’re trying to be something else.  The second person believes he’s no longer a smoker. It’s a small change that indicates a big difference.

The same can be applied to our faith journey.  You can either spend your time trying to be someone else or you can believe you are a new creation in Jesus.  The choice is yours. You can choose to trust He has good plans for your well-being. You can choose to trust He has a future for you full of hope.  You don’t have to “try” to be someone else for Jesus. He knows you intimately, all of you. There is nothing hidden from Him. His plans are specific for you and your life, for your struggles.  He will use it all for His glory if you just choose to trust Him with it.

God doesn’t want you to be anyone other than who He made you to be.  His plan for your life is specific. It’s good. It’s yours. Just trust Him to bring it to fruition.  Believe you are His and He is yours, then let His plan unfold!

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