Provision or Prosperity?

“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 NIV)

It’s a verse we’ve seen on coffee mugs and graduation cards. At first glance we think it’s about prosperity and things going well in our days ahead. But the true meaning often gets lost in translation. In fact, the word “prosper” translated from the original Hebrew is actually “shalom” which means peace. That gives this message a whole new meaning – “plans for peace and not to harm you.”  

God’s promise to provide does not always result in prosperity. In fact, sometimes God’s provision is the opposite. God wants our hearts more than our comfort, and sometimes we need to hit rock bottom to find our true rock, Jesus. Just ask Job, a righteous man who lost everything – his family, his livelihood, and even his health. For more than 30 chapters Job cried out to the Lord for answers and received nothing, except judgment from his wife and friends. But in God’s silence, Job found exactly what he needed. He found the Lord. And when he did, Job didn’t need the answers he had so desperately sought. 

How has your relationship with the Lord grown when God didn’t provide? When God was silent?

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 ESV

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