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Twisted Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11

• Shawna Boren

This week in our Twisted Scripture sermon series Shawna Boren discusses with us the misuse of Jeremiah 29:11. We take a look at how the verse, when taken alone, can claim life is always good. The problem with this use of the verse is that life is not always good. Life delivers us times that bring suffering. This week we look at how this verse can be better understood.

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Over the last several weeks we have been working our way through some commonly misused or misunderstood Bible verses in our sermon series entitled ‘Twisted Scripture.’ This week we turn to the Old Testament verse found in Jeremiah 29:11, which reads “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 verse isn’t always used incorrectly. In fact, many people choose this verse as one that they hold dear throughout life. It is often used as a blessing for those they love getting married or graduating. While this verse is used correctly in certain situations, it has also been used incorrectly at other times.

The first way this verse has been used incorrectly is when it is used to explain life in an “everything is awesome” type of way. The truth is that there are things in this world that are painful. There are times in everyone’s lives – Christian or not – when suffering happens. Even if God’s promises for his people are true and good, it does not mean that everything in life will be “awesome.” Another way this misuse is played out in people’s lives is to claim every good thing that happens in a life, no matter how small, means that person has God’s favor in their life.

The final way this verse is misused is when we take this verse as a way of explaining away all life events as being part of God’s plan. The problem with this twisted use of this Scripture is that it doesn’t take into account the context of the verse. Jeremiah was a prophet that faithfully delivered God’s message to the Jews regardless how difficult the message was. During this time, God had used Jeremiah as a prophet to deliver a message of judgment upon the people of Israel while they were in exile. Israel was given the message by God that loss and hurt was not the last word for them as a nation. This blessing of hope was to let them know that God was not finished with them yet.

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Topics: Blessings, Hope, Judgment

Sermon Series: Twisted Scripture: Season 1

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Focus Scripture:

  • Jeremiah 29:11

    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."

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7 thoughts on “Twisted Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11

  1. Kathy D. says:

    Shawna, always enjoy when you give a message, wonderful, thank you! I get so much from you! Woodland Hills has gifted speakers.

    Greg, regarding twisted scripture, two passages would love to hear your thoughts about:

    #1: Peters dream in Acts. Is the message that God is teaching Peter in this vision that He has removed all the barriers he once erected to separate his people from the surrounding nations? It means Peter has to accept Gentile believers as full members of the Christian Church. Does it also mean that God has made all animals clean, so that Peter with his fellow Jewish Christians can disregard the food laws that have been observed since the days of Moses?

    #2: Lazarus and the rich man. Many interpret Jesus’ parable to mean that people have immortal souls that go to heaven or hell immediately at death. But does this parable really say that?

    Thanks Greg.
    Blessings, Kathy D.

  2. Dave Pritchard says:

    Finally Got My “Podrishioner” T-Shirt in the Post!!!!!
    Awesome,….. Oh Baby I’m Look’in Good!!!!

  3. Joe J says:

    12mins into this one and I can’t watch any more, sorry. Nobody thinks life is all awesome, where is she getting that idea from? She’s using interpretations of the verse very few have. The previous sermons are about common misconceptions of verses. This one seems to focus on the fringe.

  4. Ken M says:

    LOL! @Dave! LOL!

  5. Roger B says:

    Joe, You might have been a little quick to judge the content? I’ve heard oodles of sermons preaching the health and wealth message. Send in $79.00 for your hankie blessed in holy water. Plant a seed and God will give you phenomenal harvest of wealth. Makes me want to puke… scammers!

  6. Carol H. says:

    Joe J.
    Your opinions about this doctrine as a fringe belief may be informed by where you live. Where I live, it’s impossible to escape the prosperity, health and wealth, word-faith teachings. If you don’t attend a church, you will hear it on radio, TV, YouTube and other outlets. These people write books which become best sellers and they have a large following of supporters. Perhaps if you finish listening to what Shawna has to say you could better understand the point of her message. After all, the introduction (say, first 12 minutes) is a lead-in to the main idea which usually comes near the end. I hope you’ll listen again.

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