Another Bad Churchy Phrase
“I Know the plans I have for you…”
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11).
Have you ever taped that verse upon on your wall or tacked it to your refrigerator? Maybe somebody gave you a really cool plaque with that verse on it to hang on your wall. Why would we call a verse from scripture a “bad churchy phrase”? It’s a happy verse. It’s full of hope. I like the way it makes me feel when I look at that picture of mountains or a sunrise with this verse printed over it.
To paraphrase the great warrior-philosopher Inigo Montoya, “I don’t think that verse means what you think it means.” It’s a bad church phrase because it rips a promise of God out of its biblical context and infers that God intends to write the story of my life with the happy ending I want: more money, more health, successful children and a peaceful, fruitful marriage. “What does God have for you behind Door Number Three? It’s a BRAND NEW CAR!”
God’s promise through Jeremiah was made in opposition to the prosperity preachers of Jeremiah’s day who were falsely predicting health, wealth, and a speedy return from Israel’s captivity in Babylon. The Israelites were letting the power-of-positive-thinking preachers write them their own version of a happy ending rather than listening to the true Word of God about true prosperity.
This verse is NOT a health and wealth promise! This verse is a promise of Messiah Jesus and his true, eternal blessings.