“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

The prophet Jeremiah shared this message from the Lord after the people of Israel had experienced crushing disappointments. God wanted to remind them that He is the author of peace and hope.

Our dreams can take a beating too. We get excited when we feel that God has called us to do something important, and then we find ourselves that we are not ready to face the inevitable setbacks and criticism. We end up getting discouraged and wanting to quit.

Delays in fulfilling our dreams throw cold water on our enthusiasm. Instead of persevering, we become distracted by other things, often good things and we lose focus on the thing God had burned into our hearts. Our impatience short circuits the plan, and we settle for less than God’s best. Keep in mind that the enemy of the best is settling for something good.

Imagine how refreshing God’s words were when Jeremiah spoke them to the people. He reminded them that they weren’t alone, God hadn’t abandoned them. They have experienced severe problems and had doubted Him again and again. But in great grace, God would even weave their problems into His plans for them. God’s faithfulness is never dependent on our perception of our current situations.

Most of the greatest leaders we find in the Bible went through times of struggle and doubt. But God reminded each of them of the hope they could have in their future because He is faithful and forgiving. As long as there is hope in the future, well have power in the present to persevere.