He’ll Make a Way 9/10/00

Jeremiah 29:10-13

Jesus Christ, the God who knows your load limit will limit your load. Does it ever seem He doesn’t? That is a false perception not true reality. He is able to deliver us in every situation. For years the church has sung:

“He is able to deliver thee…”

There are moments in our lives when He gives us occasion to prove we really believe that “He is able to deliver…” on His promises. Trust Him and you will see He is a God of His Word.

Ask Moses on the banks of the sea with the mighty army of Pharaoh closing in on him, “Is He able to deliver?”

Ask little David hiding in the caves of Engedi with the army of Saul thrashing the bushes looking for him to kill, “Is our God able to deliver?”

Ask Daniel coming out of the lions den, “Is He able?”

Ask Joseph in the prison, “Is He able to deliver?”

Ask Jonah in the belly of the great fish, “Is God able to deliver?”

Ask Noah in the storm tossed ark, “Is God able to deliver?”

Hear their chorus, “He is able!”

Ask the children of Israel in Babylonian captivity. “Is He able? Let’s consider their plight and find an answer that is sure to broaden our understanding of His ways.

The people of Israel had been taken into Babylonian captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. Their plight seemed hopeless. They were removed from their home land, forced into slavery, deprived of their customs, stripped of their possessions, and separated from loved ones. How does your current plight compare to theirs? Their future looked bleak, rather hopeless. Heartbroken and hopeless. Observing them in that state lets inquire of them if our God is able to deliver.

In our text it is as though God says four times “I know…”


Our King James reads, “I know the thoughts I think of you.” A modern English translation makes this more clear: “I have not lost sight of my plan for you.”

God never takes His mind off you. We think too seldom of Him, but He is ever mindful of us.

He knows the number of the hairs on our heads and every inch of our path. He knows our sorrows and our joys. They are all calculated and catalogued by Him.

God has not forgotten you nor His plan for you. He is ever mindful of what He thinks of you. He even knows our thoughts.

“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise…” (I Cor. 3:20).

The Psalmist said: “You understand my thoughts…” (Ps.139:2).

Knowing your thoughts what does He know you think of Him?

God not only says He knows what He is going to do He knows how to do it. He never has to say: “Oops!”

In verse 11 two traits are noted. First, “thoughts of peace and not evil.” Contained in those two words are concepts made more clear in the New English Bible translation: “prosperity and not misfortune.”

While in Babylonian captivity as slaves they developed and have passed on to their descendants a commendable trait that is still associated with our Jewish friends. They went into slavery penniless and returned wealthy. They learned how to work, earn wealth, save it, and use it. That is still a virtue of the Jewish people. That attribute was developed under the harshest of circumstances. What are you learning from your adversities? Do they make you better or bitter?

A Scotchman was visiting the Holy Land. He was captivated by the beauty of the Sea of Galilee. He endeavored to hire a Jewish boat owner to take him on a ride on the sea. The Jew said that would be $100.00 for one hour. The Scotsman exclaimed he could engage a boat for a day for half that much in Scotland. The Jew explained, “Yes, but this is the Holy Land where Christ walked on the water.” The Scotsman responded, “Yes, and now I know why He walked!”

Our God is able to deliver on His promises. He schooled them in economics in slavery.

The expression “to give you a future and an end” is what is called a hen/dia/dys, that is a means whereby a complex idea is expressed in two words connected by a coordinating conjunction. Thus, the expression a “future and an end” means a “hopeful end.” In the end hope won’t be lost. Things will work out because in the things God is working.

As with His people in slavery at the moment He TODAY has us in training for a blessed and glorious future.

This hopeful ending enables us to live with a sense of optimistic expectancy.

Regardless of the appearance God had not forgotten them. Hope was not dead. Appearance may have made it look as though God wasn’t interested in their plight or even that He had forgotten them. Does that sound like a chapter out of your autobiography?

Seventy years is a long time to wait. God told them to go ahead living. He instructed them to marry and have children, to work and learn. All the time they were busy doing these thing He was busy shaping their emancipation.

A dejected teen mused, “I don’t know why God made me!” “He didn’t,” answered her pastor, “He is still at work on you.” Creatively He is still trying to construct us into the image He has in mind for us to become. His very nature is constantly being absorbed into different aspects of our lives. He is never finished with us. This is our hope.

When we begin to doubt God we lose hope. A willing acceptance of God’s discipline and patient submission to it is essential to peace of mind.

We can be like a wild bird in a cage fluttering and flying against the cage till we break our wings and fall in exhaustion. Or, we can be like the canary that accepts its plight and sits on its swing and sings knowing it is provided for.

If we begin to doubt God we become victims of despondency, impatience, and rebellion. Confidence in your doctor is part of the cure for your ailment. Confidence in our God brings peace.

Even in their bondage the Hebrews realized they were God’s people not Babylon’s slaves. They had their condition in perspective. That perspective grew, and hope flourished.

Augustine said, “Two verbs have built two empires —- to have and to be.” A personal empire built on the verb to have is an empire of things. The empire built on the verb to be is a kingdom of character, that is, Christlike qualities. These kingdoms constantly clash. This ageless conflict goes on as each seeks to subdue the other.

The reason it appears America is unraveling at the seams is our society has become a culture of to have at the expense of the virtue of to be. To which kingdom are you given.

Only when to be wins the warfare is there peace in the heart. God knows what He is doing in your life. He is trying to mold you into the likeness of His Son.

He revealed His perfect timing and it was different from mine. He is always on time every time.

A false prophet, one wanting to be popular with the people, told them they would be delivered immediately. God said, “After seventy years … I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return…”

God had a time table. He knew when He was going to act. Often our watch is not synchronized with His. Our patience runs out before the sand in His hour glass.

Peter wrote: “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly…” (II Peter 2:9).

Not only does He know how He knows when.

Against that backdrop we need to employ His instructions:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

We start out as children on vacation asking, “Are we there yet?” When a meaningful event is scheduled our childish inquiry is, “Is it time yet?” In dealing with God we never outgrow such impatient questioning.

For nine years I prayed regarding God’s timing related to retirement. I thought I had it figured out. Through the convergence of circumstances I found my timing was wrong. God’s is always right.

God said in effect, “When my people become dependent upon Me and call on Me I will then respond.”

Here is God’s phone number: Jeremiah 33:3. It is better than 911.

Observe this further fulfillment of God’s plan as noted in Jeremiah 33:10, 11.

Only when they became dependent upon God would He show Himself dependable. In our circumstances as
in theirs God was shaping their desires. The Psalmist wrote: “He will fulfill the desires of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:19).

God is not only omniscient, all knowing, He is omnipotent, all powerful. The might of Babylon to those slaves may well have seemed impossible to overcome. How could they ever be delivered?

In 536 B.C. God put it in the heart of King Cyrus of Babylon and he issued a decree releasing them to return to their homeland. It was exactly 70 years after their exodus.

Each of us is held in a more consuming slavery. As lost sinners we are captive to one of the two universal super powers. He is the second most powerful extraterrestrial superpower. Satan holds us in the slave market of sin from which there is no way we can extricate our selves. God has a fourfold plan for our deliverance.

“Generation” means birth. The prefix “re” means again. Regeneration means to be born again. Follow His plan carefully. It involves —-
REGENERATION This gives us a new PARENT, nature.
JUSTIFICATION This gives us a new POSTURE, standing.
SANCTIFICATION. This gives us a new POSITION, set apart.
GLORIFICATION This gives us a new PLACEMENT, heaven.

It begins with new birth and ends with a new destination.

God has a wonderful plan for your life and He is able to deliver.

The bondage of God’s people in Babylon is in some ways like that every human being experiences spiritually. As He delivered His people from slavery He desires to free us from sin. As He had a plan for them He has a wonderful plan for you.

He is constantly at work in our lives to bring us to Himself. Sometimes He has to strip us of substance and deliver us from the tyranny of things in order for us to see our need of Him. He wants to free us from the kingdom of to have and enable us to enter and enjoy the kingdom of to be.

To do as the text states and “search after God” is to educate ourselves.

God said you shall “find me” when you search for me. You can find God right in the middle of you Babylon if you search for Him.

God knew what He was doing and why it was necessary.