Dear Grandparent: This is #24 in a series of 66 Bible Faith-building Bible Verses to Memorize With Your Grandchildren. The thread that weaves itself through these verses, one from each book of the Bible, is designed to create a heart of strong faith in you and your grandchild as you commit them to memory together. May God add his blessing to every word.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
After the prophet Jeremiah had predicted the judgment of God’s rebellious people, King Nebachednezzar of Babylon invaded Jerusalem and started what became Israel’s 70-year exile. Basically, the people of God were about to learn a very hard lesson in a very hard way. They would live in a land not their own, amongst a people who ruled over them, in a climate of oppression. But, in his sovereignty, God had allowed it to occur. Now, he was about to give his chosen people a very interesting directive.
4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
This was a hard pill to swallow, a difficult lesson to learn. But, God always redeems whatever he allows, and he was promising to redeem the time his people were spending in the place they didn’t want to be.
The reason we’re memorizing this verse is because it’s the key verse of the whole book of Jeremiah. In 29 words of promise, we see some amazing things about God.
For I know – God knows what only God knows. There is never a time when he doesn’t know, either. We might not know what’s ahead, or why this occurred or that had to happen. But, rest assured, God knows.
The plans I have for you – Not only is it absolutely mind-boggling to think that the God who created the entire universe has PLANS for little old me, it’s tremendously comforting to know that his plans are still in place at all times in our lives. He will work it around to where it should have been. He will reconstruct the map to get us where we need to go. Whatever it takes. Because.He.Has.Plans.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you – As they said in the prairie days, seein’ as how we’ve already learned that God is slow to anger (Numbers 14:18), and that he devises ways for knuckleheads like us to be able to come back into fellowship with him (2 Samuel 14:14), we need not doubt that his plans are always for our good. Always, always, always.
Plans to give you hope – God knows that he can’t tell us everything he’s about to do in our lives. but he can sure enough give us hope. He knows that if we just have a little hope, we can wait for him to move. Hope. What a beautiful word.
And a future – We’re never bound by the past. Sure, there are consequences for the mistakes we make. We might have to make peace with people we don’t like, and we might have to stay a while in a place we’d rather not be. But soon, it will be in the past, and we’ll be enjoying the future God has planned for us!
Personalizing this verse for my granddaughter wasn’t very hard. It’s her mom’s favorite verse, and she’s heard her mom say it many, many times. It’s even printed on a wall-hanging in their living room. My granddaughter is familiar with this verse.
But, she gets the deeper meaning, and because she does, her tender heart hurts for people who might not understand it. Because of that, it was the memorializing of it that was hardest for her on this verse.
When we made the video below, it took several tries. She got really upset and could barely talk through her tears. I didn’t understand why, and she had a hard time getting it said. I told her we could wait – we didn’t even have to do it. But she wanted to. She just needed to gather her thoughts.
I think you’ll understand when you watch it. She has a tender heart, that girl. She just got really sad thinking that there would be someone she loved who might not understand that God has plans for even that person who doesn’t believe it.
Emphasizing the pronouns in this verse makes for easier memorization. Maybe you want to dramatically point upward on the “I” and, with your hands, make a flowy circle back down, pointing to yourself on the “you.” Use some creative sign language that your grandchild likes for “plans,” “prosper,” “hope,” and a final sweeping whole-arm movement for “future.”
Kynzie’s video is kind of teary and bleary, but you can memorialize your own grandchild saying this verse in lots of different ways. It would be fun to video you and your grandchild together, in a take-one, take-two format, attempting to say the entire verse perfectly all the way to the end. Just be creative, and enjoy. You’re leaving a legacy and memorializing the moments!
Encouraging intentional adventure with your sweet grandkids through the pages of God’s word,