“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.” Jeremiah 29:11
Around the world New Year’s Day is celebrated with different customs meant to bring good luck and prosperity. Each country has its own superstitions and traditions including special meals, clothing, and decorations. Millions of people adhere to these rituals. Some do it just for fun; but most believe or hope that it will bring them good fortune and happiness in the year to come.
The Spanish people, for example, have the custom to eat 12 grapes at exactly 12 o’clock – one grape for happiness in each of the coming 12 months. Greek people eat a specially prepared cake with a coin in it for happiness and good luck in the year to come. The first piece of the cake is left for Baby Jesus; the second for the father of the house, and the third is for the home. If the coin is found in the third slice, the family can look forward to happiness throughout the year. In America, we practice superstitions such as kissing at midnight and eating black-eyed peas and greens to bring good luck and money in the coming year.
Jeremiah 29:11 is perhaps one of the most widely known verses in the entire Bible. It reminds us that God has a plan for our lives…and that His plan is good. The word “prosper” in this passage does not mean what many people think it does. It does not imply material possessions, but rather prosperity of the inner man. It means completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. It is a tranquility and contentment that rises above circumstances.
In order for God to glorify Himself through our lives, He often pushes us out of our comfort zones. He leads us to mountaintops; but He also leads us through dark valleys. His will does not always make sense from our limited perspective. But we must remember that God anything He allows into our lives is for our good and His glory. He can prosper us, giving us hope and a future no matter what is happening to us now.
As Christians, we must not put our hope in silly superstitions and traditions. Remember that what you need isn’t something from God…you need God. His plans are always good, because God is always good.
Father, Thank you for this promise from Your Word. Help me to remember that Your plans are always for my good, even when I may not understand how You are working. Increase my faith in You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.