“’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 a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Yesterday I wrote about the first promise in this verse – God knows the plans He has for us. Today I will share what God has taught me in the second promise of this verse: “plans to prosper you.”
Prosper me? Oh heck yes! Bring on the prosperity! Gosh that’s how I used to think. I’m gonna be RICH! I’m gonna have a big house, lots of money, be able to travel without a care in the world…
Wrong-O. Now I’m not complaining. I have a beautiful home, but it drives me crazy that I only have 1 bathroom upstairs and NO storage (you should see my parents’ basement full of stuff I am saving…). We own our cars outright and are sending a child to college but we can’t afford to go to Pasadena with the rest of the Auburn nation. So does that make me only slightly, kind-of, sort-of prosperous?
Years ago I would have said, “YES. Why does everyone else seem to have more money than me?” And I’m embarrassed to admit I used to say that kind of stuff a lot. Society teaches us that prosperity = money = happiness. But I’ve learned a seriously important lesson about prosperity, one that I can only hope my children learn far before the age of 47.
Having tons of money ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. (Just watch the TV show about the lottery winners that are now miserable and broke. Or read about all the professional athletes who ruined their lives because they couldn’t handle the influx of huge sums of money.) And prosperous doesn’t equal money, anyway. When God promises to prosper me, I need not look any further than my home – not the building I live in but the life He has given me. My prosperity may look different from yours, but I’m betting if you take 5 minutes to think on it you will be overwhelmed with emotions over God’s blessings in your life.
A happy marriage. Healthy children. A successful career. Finding a passion of service. Faithful friends. Money to pay your bills. What does your prosperity look like?
God has plans to prosper us – and He has. And He will. We just need to make sure we understand what true prosperity is.
Prayers for a prosperous 2014 for you!