Thursday, April 12, 2012

Captivity: God’s Purpose?

    Ever wonder about God’s purpose and will for your life? Sure we all have. We all want to be blessed and get all the ‘good stuff’ from Him.  

   But … what about the times that God brings His purpose for our life, through ways that we don’t expect or through painful, hardships, where the end result brings His intended purpose for us. We all want the easy way out, but some things in life don’t work like that.

   Jeremiah 29:11 “ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”.

   Many people quote this verse, out of context, trying to promote that God will make us healthy, wealthy, and wise. Without any difficult periods of life. But when you read the whole chapter of Jeremiah 29, in context, you will find out that God did promise to give His people, Israel,  a hopeful future.

   But they had to experience 70 years of captivity in Babylon first.  70 YEARS OF CAPTIVITY!! SLAVERY!! That is a LIFETIME… the span of a whole life, which means that some of those who entered these years of captivity, probably died in Babylon, while a slave. Because the CAPTIVITY WAS LONG!

   Verse 4 tells us that God said ‘ I have CAUSED to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon’. In following verses He tells them to build homes, plant gardens, get married, have children, to increase in the land of their enslavement. Plus He told them to ‘SEEK THE PEACE' of the city , Babylon, where I have CAUSED you to be carried away captive and PRAY to the Lord for it, for in the city’s peace the people will have peace.

   In verse 9, God warns against believing the FALSE prophets, who He has NOT sent…because the ‘religious’ folks, were trying to convince the people that God would not send them into captivity, because they were spreading lies that God only does what they want, when they want, in the way they want, without any hardships, but all the easy route.

  Currently, in our days we also have those who only preach or teach fluffy religious stuff, without much substance to the message. Tickling our ears, making us ‘feel good’. But sometimes ‘hardships are our pathway to peace’.

  Don’t get me wrong, God is good, and wants to give our lives purpose with a hopeful future, but His intended route to get us there, might not be the way we think it should be.

  Reading verse 10, God promises after the 70 years are completed in Babylon He will visit them and perform His good word toward them and cause them to return to their homeland. So they had HOPE because He promised that after the captivity they would return home.

  Then in verse 12 He further promises  ‘then you will CALL UNTO ME and go and PRAY TO ME and I WILL LISTEN TO YOU.’   verse 13 continues, ‘ and you will SEEK ME and FIND ME when you SEARCH FOR ME with all your heart. verse 14.. ‘ I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU says the Lord, and I WILL BRING YOU BACK FROM YOUR CAPTIVITY…..’

   God kept His promise to Israel then, and throughout their history. What does this have to do with YOU?  Well, it means WHEREVER you are, WHATEVER you are bound by, WHOEVER is holding you back, if you have been in a HARSH place, if you have gone through addictions, or abuse or slavery of any kind,,,,, JESUS CHRIST will CARRY YOU … if you surrender your will to His. VICTORY will come, FREEDOM and RECOVERY will come, HEALING and REDEMPTION will come, regardless of what road you have had to travel, on your life’s journey, when you submit, and surrender to Christ, He will carry you, all the way.

   When you trust Christ with  your life, then you will have peace, knowing that if you are traveling a easy road, or a hard road, He is right there with you every step of the way. You will never be alone, and you will make it. JESUS is the Great Redeemer, Healer, Recovery Coach… whatever you need, He is your Cure.

  GOOD NEWS! You are going to make it! Trust Him today.



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