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Exile

If you are in the middle of a difficult time, you need to know that the story is not over! If it is not good, God is not done. We can stay faithful during hard times, even confusing times because God is always faithful to us.

During the siege of Jerusalem, the Israelites were exiled to Babylon. But the prophet Jeremiah stayed behind. He lived in the ruins of Jerusalem writing letters to his people.

In Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah sends encouragement from God to the Israelites, who were unsure about their future in a foreign land. Jeremiah 29:5 says, “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.” Jeremiah goes on to say they should marry and give daughters to be married. They should become part of the land they are in. “Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).

God, through Jeremiah, tells His people to seek peace and build lives for themselves where He has put them. He tells them to embrace life in Babylon, not to worry or be afraid. In verse 11, Jeremiah writes, “‘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.’”

What was true for the Israelites is true for us today. Sometimes we just need to settle down and embrace where we are, take the opportunities in front of us and stay faithful to God, who always has greater things planned for us.

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