Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse. You may have seen it on T-shirts or bumper stickers.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has a reference to it tattooed on his wrist.
According to an article by Mark Ellis, on the website blog.godreports.com, “Before Derek’s grandfather passed away he went to visit him at the hospital. While his grandfather was too weak to speak to him, the dying man wrote Jeremiah 29:11 on a board… Deeply touched by the encounter, Derek later got the verse tattooed on his wrist.”
So what does Jeremiah 29:11 say?
It says: “‘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” (NIV).
This message was originally spoken to Jews living as prisoners in Babylon, and, in context, it spoke of their release from that prison and return home.
In the verse right before Jeremiah 29:11, God told them, “You will be forced to live in Babylon for 70 years. After they are over, I will come to you. My good promise to you will come true. I will bring you back home” (Jeremiah 29:10 NIRV).
Even though Jeremiah 29:11 doesn’t apply to Christians in exactly the same way that it applied to its original audience, it still applies to Christians in the sense that the Lord has promised Christians a bright future as well.
Notice some of the promises the Lord has made to Christians concerning their bright future, both in this life and for all eternity.
For one thing, the Lord has promised to always be with us always. The Gospel of Matthew ends with the Lord telling His disciples, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 WEB).
Second, there is the promise of “abundant life.” The Lord said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV).
Third, the Lord made a promise to take His disciples to heaven. He said, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3 NASB).
Fourth, there is the promise of no tears in heaven. In Revelation we read, “He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more” (Revelation 21:4 WEB).
With these thoughts in mind, it’s easy to see how Jeremiah 29:11 can be applied to Christians.
Once again, that verse says: “‘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'” (NIV).
(Jake King is the preacher at Seneca Church of Christ. He can be reached at (417) 776-3077.)