Fast Day 9: A Future of Hope

Written by Danielle Hage
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God is for us, not against us. Have you heard that spoken before? Do you believe it? In the Bible, in black and white, God promises that he not only thinks about you, but He thinks positively of you and has a future and hope for you! God asks you to trust Him, but because of past experiences or condemning religion, you may have not trusted that God is for you, but instead, you have strayed away from His guidance, His peace, and His plans for your future.
Consider a small child’s relationship with his dad. When dad pulls in the driveway from a long day of work, the child is watching out the window eagerly awaiting his dad to open the door where he jumps into his arms and squeals with delight that his dad is home. The dad asks his wife how their day was and she responds positively that all was well. The next day, dad pulls into the driveway, walks up to the door, to be greeted by no one, so he hangs up his coat and puts up his briefcase, to then walk into the child’s bedroom where his child is sitting in bed with his head hanging low and his wife is scrubbing crayon drawings off the wall. When the dad asks the child what happened, he buried his head into the pillow out of embarrassment and began to cry. The dad picks up the child, wipes his tears, takes him over to the soapy water bucket and guides him in helping his mom scrub the walls. The dad responds firmly, but lovingly, to the child that the choice he made to draw on the wall was not ok, but that together, it would be ok and he proceeds to give his child a big hug and his wife a kiss. The dad in this situation is similar to our heavenly father. He is always the same, always looking forward to you coming to him with excitement, but there lovingly to guide, correct and make new again mistakes you have made.
In what situations have you acted in ways similar to this child toward our Heavenly Father? Do you identify with either of these two situations: when days are good and time is on your side, you run to Him with your prayers, your thanks, your excitement and worship to be in His presence; and when the day has not been so well, you’ve made mistakes, or feel isolated, you hide from Him and bury your head in self sorrow? The good news is God is for us and not against us!
As you look to the year ahead, reflect on how you relate with God and become aware of antecedents to changes in that relationship. When you identify those times when you feel like hiding from him, turn and run to Him instead, for His plans for you are of peace and a hopeful future! Respond in the comments below.
We recommend you keep a journal of your personal responses to questions posed in each of the daily devotionals so you can meditate not only during the first 21 days during your prayer time, but you can reflect throughout the entire year to be able to see how God has really moved on your behalf in 2016 and you have record of your testimony.

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