A Place You'd Rather Not Go

Dennis Malcom
Originally published March 18, 2020

A Place You’d Rather Not Go

Jeremiah 29:11 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.

This verse is one of the great promises of scripture.  It stirs hope in the weakest of hearts.  But it is important that we understand who originally received this promise.  It was written to exiles.  Exiles who had been carried away to a foreign country.

Exile is traumatic and terrifying.  Exile tears away all of our stability and security.

Exile is always a place you would rather not go

Exile is to be ripped from that which is comfortable or the way we want life to work and to be taken to a place we would rather not go.  It is a detour in our well-ordered life.  When exile comes, the life we have cobbled together, the life we have known is over.  

Exile is never our idea.  We never seek out exile because exile scares us.  We don’t have to seek out exile because it usually finds us.

Exile is where we find ourselves today.  All of us are in a place we never thought we would be and never wanted to go.  The coronavirus, social distancing, crashing stock markets and so much more, are a form of exile.  We are in a place we would rather not go.

But Jeremiah 29:11 can give us hope for our day, just as it gave hope to the exiles in Jeremiah’s day.  The promise is that God is good.  He has a good plan for our lives.  Even in exile.  Exile doesn’t cancel out his plan.  In fact, exile is part of his plan.

It is the promise that God is at work in the darkest days of our lives and in those days, there is fertile soil for us to become the people we have always desired.

God’s plan cannot be frustrated.  Even exile cannot frustrate the plans that God has for you.  Even when you find yourself in a place like this, in a place you would rather not be, God’s plan for you cannot be frustrated.  He will see you all the way through.  

God knows what he is doing.  The world is not spinning out of control.  He is still on his throne.  He is still at work.  He is still smiling on each and every one of us.  God’s plan hasn’t fallen apart.    

God has an amazing capacity to turn our troubles into a testimony of his grace and glory.  It is in the darkest days that his light shines the brightest.

Dennis Malcolm
TBC Senior Pastor