God was revealing to the Israelites why they were having the excruciating experience of being taken as slaves into the Babylonian captivity.
10This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11For 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. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” – Jeremiah 29:10-14
Here are the encouraging truths I found in these verses:
” Trials eventually come to an end, and God can be absolutely counted upon to fulfill His promises (verse 10).
” God is still thinking about us, even when we’re feeling lonely in our trials (verse 11). He is listening to our heartfelt prayers (verse 12).
” The only thoughts that God has toward us are thoughts of peace that include a future that is hopeful and good (verse 11).
” God allows our trials to come because they are necessary to accomplish His purpose in our lives (verse 11).
” God’s purpose is that we would seek Him (verse 13).
” God allows Himself to be found when we search for Him with all our heart. He purposes to ultimately bring about our restoration (verses 13-14).
In this passage, the Israelites have been removed from their land and torn from their possessions, yet God does not tell them to seek the restoration of their land. He does not tell them to seek their possessions. He does not tell them to seek their freedom. He tells them to seek but one thing — Himself. And one way that God has of causing us to seek Him wholeheartedly is by allowing us to lose those other things that we highly prize.