“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.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Highway 11-17 between Nipigon and Thunder Bay is one of the busiest two-lane highways in Canada. In 2022, the Ontario government announced plans to twin the highway by 2024. The project, which also includes building two new bridges over Pearl River, will improve road safety, reduce travel times and create hundreds of well-paying jobs in the North. The local MPP said, “In our region, people travel long distances to reach neighbouring communities, whether it be to go to work, visit family, or access services.”
Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most beloved verses in the Bible. It is a promise that every follower of Jesus loves to memorize and claim for their own. It says, “‘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.’” This promise was originally given to a people in exile. Jeremiah was speaking to the people of Israel who had recently been dragged off to Babylon – those like Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego. It hadn’t even been a decade yet – and they would live in Babylon for 70 years. I’m sure there were times in exile when the Israelites must have wondered if God’s plan really was to prosper them and not harm them. But if you’ve read the book of Daniel, you know that God shut the mouths of the lions and kept the heat and smoke from touching the faithful. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are living in exile. Not everything we experience is positive. But in exile, God has a plan for your life – to give you a hope and an eternal future.
These have been words from the heart.