“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.  “They are plans for your good, and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11


Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This passage, one of the most famous from the Book of Jeremiah, is part of the prophet’s “Letter to the Exiles in Babylon.” Its assuring message directs our energy and attention toward God’s divine plan for our well-being, not our personal plans. It reminds us that when we let God be in charge of the universe, we don’t need to figure out everything ourselves.
  • When prophets speak in sacred texts, we are called to listen, learn something new, and transform ourselves, our lives, and our world.
  • Exiles are those who feel lost and/or homesick because they are separated from what’s familiar and comfortable. Sometimes we feel exiled when we deny our true nature.
  • When we focus on a positive future, we can feel hopeful without a trace of anguish or apathy. As we live by faith, we discover what is ours to have and do.
  • God’s plan is always for our greatest good. It isn’t predestination or a pre-birth contract because we get to discern and choose how we’ll act and which opportunities we’ll embrace.
  • Our well-being includes: loving connections with people in our families and community; physical health and vitality; purpose and fulfillment in our work or service; resilience and support in times of challenge; and gratitude for our blessings, no matter how small.
  • In her 1985 book, Dealing with Stress Through Spiritual Methods, Rev. Winifred Wilkinson Hausmann teaches: “God has many channels, and . . . many jobs that need to be done. Who is to say that one is greater than another? But our own right place, our own right work, and our perfect goal will be revealed to us when we make our first commitment to learning to go God’s way and to fulfilling the plan that God reveals to us step by step as we let the plan unfold.”

Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • What are my current plans for my well-being?
    • Reflect on all aspects of your life: emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual.
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies for each aspect.
  • When I reflect on my plans, what am I trying to accomplish based on my personal will and/or someone else’s values?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies for each aspect.
  • When I reflect on my plans, what am I accomplishing based on God’s guidance and my own true nature?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as applies for each aspect.
  • What plan appears to be unfolding for me, even if it seems unexpected?
    • List, word map, or illustrate whatever you notice being revealed.
  • What are at least three (3) steps I can take to align myself more fully with God as I let my divine plan unfold?
    • List, word map, or illustrate as much as you can imagine.

As you use this devotional, remember that God, infinitely compassionate, unconditionally loving, is everywhere present all the time, always and in all ways.  Avoid any thoughts of God as an angry deity, a capricious puppeteer, or a supernatural being which gives to some and withholds from others.  Know that whatever may be occurring around you: You are enough and there is enough abundance in the universe to meet all your needs.  Honor your true nature.  Trust yourself and God’s ever-abiding grace and goodness as your divine plan is revealed.

© 2022 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
%d bloggers like this: