A favorite promise box scripture, so worthy of bumper sticker, is found in Jeremiah chapter 29. I’m sure you are familiar with it:
“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)
What most people don’t include on their sanctified T-shirt or bookmark is the context and what follows:
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12–13 NIV)
The plans, the prosperity, the future, and the hope, all spring from the well of passionate devotion to the practice of prayer.
I think one of the kind of most famous, possibly favourite promise book, scriptures and like is totally worthy of a bumper sticker or a T-shirt is found in Jeremiah Chapter 29. I’m sure you are most likely familiar with it. And it reads like this. 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 a hope and a future like surely a beautiful verse and a magnificent promise.
But what most people don’t include on this sanctified T-shirt or bookmark or whatever other promise box they may have is the context. And what follows, because Jeremiah 29:12 and 13 goes on to say, then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. And really, it’s these plans, this prosperity, this future in this hope springing from a well of passionate devotion to the practice of prayer.
Prayer is a wellspring of life that springs up within our inner man, bringing God’s plans to the surface. I mean, it’s my belief that God predestined us, that God plans out, that we walk in paths that he has prepared for us to walk in, that all of those blueprints reside within our inner man in this designed divine plan of life, but without absolute dedication to bring them forth and uncover them through prayer. You know, many of us may be well destined for disappointment, you know, and I think a lot of people wonder, well, why has God not done this or why is God not done that?
Why did God not act in the way that I anticipated or expected him to? And like there are so many different kind of reasonings that we can come up with. And, you know, oftentimes the the only answer we can give is like, I just don’t know. But at the end of the day, it’s also true that for for many of God’s purposes and for many of God’s plans to come to pass in our life, they have to be born in prayer.
They have to be brought forth. They have to be kind of they have to be nourished in the inner man, grow up and then be birthed through prayer, you know, and we can say, well, why did God let you down? Maybe we feel let down, but maybe it wasn’t his plans and purposes that were lacking or wanting. Maybe it was a lack of that calling out. Maybe it was too little praying. Maybe it was because our seeking was half hearted or tinged with doubts and that just stop the flow of blessing.
You know, I really you know, and I’m not lifting myself up as someone who’s not faced their fair share of disappointment. I’m not I’m not coming here saying that I don’t carry many questions myself. But I can tell you this much. I I’m not I’m not willing to leave this thing to chance. I know I look and I think, OK, worst case scenario, and I still don’t get what I want. I still don’t reach what I’m believing for.
But at least when we stand before the master, we want to be able to say that whatever lack of results we may have experienced was not the result of a meagre dedication to reach for them. And I’m thinking of like a heavenly account that we deposit into. And I think that, you know, those those deposits into this heavenly bank, deposits of faithfulness, deposits of obedience, you know, and the returns ultimately are going to be exponential. Some we might receive here, but others may be we’ve got to wait and they’ll be bestowed upon us in the world to come.
Either way, I know this much. God is no man’s debtor and the cost to return ratio is beyond belief. It’s outside of our even imagination, the benefits and the rewards of living a life dedicated to the one who gave his life. For us and dedicated to the practice of prayer in Jesus is by by far the best adviser, and he understands the beginning from the end. And he offered us this advice in Matthew chapter 6:19 and 20.
He said, lay not up for yourselves. Treasures on Earth where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break through and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth and rust corrupt and where thieves do not break through and steal. Now, ultimately, the greatest treasures are not physical. The Bible speaks, for example, of a virtuous woman, a good wife being more precious than rubies, speaks of wisdom and knowledge as being of greater worth than gold.
How true is that? I believe I do believe in physical riches. I do believe that prosperity is part of our covenant, like like hands on earth, bound to prosperity. But how much more treasured should the intangibles that are stored in heaven awaiting our arrival be? How much more should we treasure those things? And my question today is, how is your account accumulating? Are you making regular deposits in a know assure there? We’ve all heard, like many, many sermonettes at offering time, reminding us that part of the promise of this verse of laying treasures up in heaven is relatable to our generosity, like financially here on Earth, you know, and that is important.
But the treasures of your time and your heart are the real slices of life that you lay on the altar. You know, it’s a man who lays down his life. He finds it. You know, there is a discovery to be that there is a discovery that is only understood by those who have laid aside some of the pursuits of this world and some of the pursuits of this kind of short span that we live on Earth and have let us lend.
Their hearts have leaned into the treasures that can only be possessed and taken a hold of in the heavenly peace. And I can promise you this, every moment dedicated to the sincere practice of prayer is logged, stored, and from that very moment begins to gain interest. You know, our father in heaven, papa will never waste one penny of the passion that you pour out in sincere prayer. Well, thanks for listening, hopefully. It’s been an encouragement to you today, if you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com.
Have a great day.