“Pursue the peace and welfare of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to me, the Eternal, for Babylon because if it has peace, you will live in peace.” Jeremiah 29:7
I loved finding this little gold nugget as I was reading Jeremiah today. Here are God’s chosen people, and they have fallen into lives of corrupt sinfulness. Their hope and faith are not in God, and they’ve abandoned Him. Since they will not listen, God has decided to let Babylon, their enemies, take over for 70 years. He says that if they give into Babylon they will see hardship, but it will be the start of them obeying Him and He will bless them for that. He says, you will be an outsider in Babylon, but I don’t want you to live out your time as a victim. You are to accept that this is where you’re supposed to be for now, and live as you would normally. Get married, have kids, and live life! God tells His people to pray for Babylon, because if the city has peace, so will they. This speaks a lot about us, and the effect we can have on our environment. It speaks about the power of prayer and how, if we believe in God’s goodness and how He says He will work everything to our good, the peace we will get from that will transcend all understanding. When God puts us through trials and tests somewhere uncomfortable, we are to be His ambassadors in these places, pursuing peace and welfare, praying for the environment, trusting in His goodness. Because ultimately, we have trust that God will see us through, as Jeremiah continues in verse 11-13:
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Eternal, ‘plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope – never forget that. At that time, you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me.’”
I’m still waiting to find out how everything went down once they were captured by Babylon and how much they actually listened to these commands once they found themselves living in captivity. The general feeling I get is probably not. So far in my reading of Jeremiah, the people have been more likely to listen to the false prophets saying that God will release them in just a few years. Funny, how only hearing what you want to believe has not changed over thousands of years. That’s some dangerous thinking there.
Please pray for me that I will always remember to be fighting in prayer for my village, Candelaria. I ask that you would do the same! We need HOPE, freedom, peace, faith, love, and goodness to reign in a place that is heavily oppressed by poverty, abuse, alcoholism, discouragement, and depression.
I’m obviously happy to be here and don’t feel like I’m being held captive, but the main message I’m trying to live out is to bloom where you’re planted. In every situation, we can be praying for our surroundings and having a peaceful impact where we live.
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