“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
This Old Testament verse from Jeremiah is one of the best-known in the Bible, offering assurance that God wants only our best.
Who was the prophet Jeremiah, and how long did he deliver God’s messages?
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Jeremiah was “a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah in the Old Testament, right before Judah ultimately fell to Babylon and was led away into captivity,” says Christian website Biblestudytools.com.
Jeremiah, who went through many trials himself, “preached a lot of doom and punishment,” the site notes.
“However, his message was ultimately one of repentance and restoration.”
One of the most often-quoted verses in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11 “has offered hope to believers for centuries,” the site also says.
God sent Jeremiah to “a crumbling nation” to warn of their impending demise — a “warning they didn’t heed.”
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Jeremiah spent 40 years delivering God’s messages to the people of Judah, the website also notes, with his early messages centered on “condemning false worship and social injustice,” with calls for the people to repent.
One faith leader in Florida, speaking on this verse in Jeremiah, told Fox News Digital that there are two methods through which God deals with the world: “revealed good and concealed good.”
“At times, God showers down revealed good in the form of wealth, honor and property,” said Rabbi Pinchas Taylor of Plantation, Florida.
“The beauty, value and utility will be exponentially enhanced …”
Other times, the blessings come “filtered through situations,” which “appear to be for our detriment,” he continued — “difficulties, poverty, pain.”
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“While we may not always see it at the get-go,” he said, “God is using the challenging situations to facilitate an even greater level of blessing.”
He also said, “Think about it like a tailor producing a garment. When he receives the standard pieces of expensive silk, the tailor ‘attacks’ the silk with large scissors, cutting it into different sizes and shapes.”
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An onlooker who doesn’t know any better would think that the tailor “performed an act of destruction,” said the rabbi.
“A wiser person understands that while the standard silk piece may in of itself be beautiful and valuable, the beauty, value and utility will be exponentially enhanced through these preliminary ‘destructive’ measures,” he said.
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“In other words, that which on the surface appears to be a struggle, hardship, challenge or filled with sorrow are, in fact, not of evil, but paving the way for something greater,” he added.
Stay tuned for more Bible verses of the day during the Advent season. To see yesterday’s Bible verse, click here.