“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected [prosperous] end."
plans for a new year Published week of december 27, 2020
Various people groups around the world, each hoping to bring good fortune, celebrate with different customs and traditions when it comes to New Year’s Day. Some of these celebrations are superstitions and include special meals, clothing, and decorations. Although this may be in fun and jest for some, to others they place faith and hope that it will yield happiness in the year to come.
The Spanish people, for example, have the custom to eat 12 grapes at exactly 12 o’clock – one grape for happiness in each of the coming 12 months. Greek people eat a specially prepared cake with a coin in it for happiness and good luck in the year to come. The first piece of the cake is left for Baby Jesus; the second for the father of the house, and the third is for the home. If the coin is found in the third slice, the family can look forward to happiness throughout the year. In America, we practice superstitions such as kissing at midnight and eating black-eyed peas and greens to bring good luck and money in the coming year.
This verse, Jeremiah 29:11, is a verse we often consider when discussing and trying to discover God's will. The verse reminds us that God has a plan for our lives . . . and that His plan is good. The word “expected” in this passage has the idea of prosperity but not necessarily material prosperity. It refers to the inner man and means completeness, soundness, welfare and peace. It is a tranquility and contentment that rises above circumstances.
As we remember God's overarching will for our lives is to glorify Himself, we must remember that in order to do this, He often pushes us out of our comfort zones. God often allows trials in our lives so as to accomplish His good. These trials may lead us up on a mountain or down in a valley, sometimes the ways of God are humanly logical and at other times they may seem to be totally illogical. However, regardless of what takes place, He can prosper us, give us hope and a future no matter what is happening to us now.
As Christians, we must not put our hope in silly superstitions and traditions. We would do well to remember that what we need isn’t something from God . . . rather, what we need is God. His plans are always good, because God is always good.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the promise from Your Word that tells me you have plans for my life. Help me to remember that Your plans are always for my good, even when I may not understand how You are working. Increase my faith in You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.