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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"An Expected End"

An Expected End
"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 end." Jeremiah. 29:11

These words were written concerning the captivity of Israel in Babylon.  Israel would have to endure seventy years of captivity and absence from their homeland.  There would be suffering, heartache, tears and sorrow involved in these seventy years. Some of Israel would die before the seventy years were complete, while others would find themselves forgetting the homeland and becoming comfortable in Babylon.  God would seem distant, and in many ways, as though He forgot His people. This would continue seventy long years.  But God makes a wonderful promise in this verse, and this promise can be applied to our lives today!

At the end of these years, which some thought was so far away, God would bring a good work about on behalf of His people.  Even though they thought all along that God meant this for evil, God was really preparing a good work to be preformed in the end.  Though day after day, month after month, year after year, and decade after decade they felt the affliction of captivity, and although they groaned under the burden of the Babylonians, God was at work. For many days it felt as if God had left His people to perish. There were many times the people wanted to give in to the temptations around them and join up with this wicked people they were held by, but God gave them this promise that there was an expected end.

Maybe this year closes much differently than you had expected it to. Maybe twelve months ago you had dreams and goals for 2009 that now lie dashed and broken. Perhaps this year was filled with heartache, tears and sorrow. Whatever it held for you, thank God for it, and look ahead to this year in front of you with hope and joy because God promised us that there is an end that we can expect to be filled with His peace and goodness. That end is not the closing of a year, but rather at the end of our captivity here n this world. We ought to look for the goodness of God in our day-to-day lives even though this world is full of uncertainty. Yet, our eyes and hearts are to be fixed with expectancy on that great day when He calls us from this captivity into the blessed Homeland of the saint! This is a sure end for the believer.

Make plans for 2010. Commit to achieving your goals, but know this: only Heaven is our expected end! God has prepared this place for us and whether by death or rapture it is our expected end. Don’t let the disappointments, setbacks, or failures of this Babylon get us discouraged. This is not our final end! (Thank God for that!) No matter what this life throws at us let us remember our expected end!

Study verses: Psalm 90:10; Proverbs 27:1; John 14:1-6; Rev. 21:1-22:7; II Cor. 5:1-8; I Thes. 4: 13-18; I Cor. 15: 51-57

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Previous devotions

"Silent Night, Holy Night" - December 23, 2009
"Christmas - Part 2" - December 16, 2009
"Christmas - Part 1" - December 9, 2009
"Walk in Truth" - December 2, 2009

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