Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP) says, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome".

More than once in the past two weeks I have shared this verse with my children.  One of the toughest lesson that I have had to learn as a father is to deal with the problems that I can not solve.  At times the feelings amount to nothing short of helplessness.  You want so bad to fix the problem, eliminate the pain, build the esteem, comfort the sadness, but it is beyond your ability.

Young people today struggle so much with overwhelming hopelessness.  They live in a world with so much material and relational necessity.  Their very value and sense of self is wrapped up in their adolescent world.  And when this world does not match up to their (or others) expectations it can be a real area of crisis.  I believe this is so much greater a crisis then we knew as young people.  We had so many other facets to our life, many of which allowed us to develop a greater sense of self, purpose and healthy expectations.

That is why the verse above is so critical to our young people today.  God is never far away, and knows exactly where you are...and where you are going to be.  The hopelessness that is felt is only temporary.  But the enemy wants us to believe it is eternal.  It is a condition brought on by not knowing something, namely what tomorrow will bring.  The "not knowing" is the hardest part.  We so hope it is not what we are experiencing today. 

But take comfort, God knows tomorrow and His plan has our welfare and peace in mind.  Our trust must be on God and His perfect plan and design for our of "hope for the final outcome".   You see God loves us more than anyone else on the face of the earth, and His desire is that we have peace.  Peace will not always come with a lack of conflict, hurt or pain, but it does come with hope that He will make all things good!

When my son turned 13 I planned a sort of scavenger hunt as a way for him to embrace the attributes that made a man.  Just prior to the hunt we pulled to the side of the road near our addition and exited the car.  I gave him a flash light and told him to proceed down the road alone, and that I would see him later.  The look on my son's face was one of confusion and maybe a little fear that night, but also of trust.  As I drove away he bravely proceeded down the empty road alone and with no real knowledge of what was ahead. 

Trust is needed to proceed ahead in life, when we don't know what to expect.  Our trust must be on the one who knows us best and loves us most. 


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