Lenten Devotion — Friday of Lent 5

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 9.47.44 AM“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:1-14

There are times when human life and existence seem out of control. It seems that way on a grand, earthly, international scale, and it seems that way in our own personal lives. We plan and devise; we develop a strategy for our lives, but poof, our plans go up in smoke.

What a blessing it is to know that the LORD has plans for us! How reassuring it is to know that God is at work to bring about good for us, and not for evil. God is working to give us a future and a hope.

In the same way, from the very beginning—from Adam’s and Eve’s first sin in the Garden of Eden—God has been at work to bring good from our disobedience. The whole of the Old and New Testaments is intended to tell the love story of our God who would not let us go, and who continued to work to bring us back, to bring us to repentance, to finally save us from ourselves.

In the Great and Holy Week, we see God’s plan come to fruition. The events of Holy Week were not a surprise to God; they didn’t catch Him off guard. Upon seeing that His Son would be crucified, God didn’t need to scramble to develop “Plan B.” Everything happened in accordance with God’s plan for the salvation of the world: From Palm Sunday, to the meal in the Upper Room, to the arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, to the cross, and finally, the empty tomb on Easter morning. As we read in Jeremiah, the LORD knew the plans He had for us—plans for good, to give us a future and a hope.

And what a future and a hope we have, in Jesus Christ! Even during the trying days of Lent, even during the darkest days of life, we know we have a future and a hope, because Jesus Christ died and was raised for us! And for that, we say, “Thanks be to God!”

Lord and God, when life is uncertain and chaotic, help us to know that you have a plan for us, and for our lives, even as you had a plan, in Jesus, for the salvation of the world; through the same, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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