|I wonder if they mean works-righteousness?|
- by majority Arminian ("...that WHO-SO-EVER (!) believeth in Him..."; Jn 3:16),
- non-confrontational ("Judge not, lest ye be judged."; Mt 7:1),
- and are beginning to doubt if hell even exists ("...because God is love."; 1 Jn 4:10).
And taking my own advice, I paused and studied the immediate context. Backing up one verse, I was devastated by the implications of 29:10:"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
"For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place."
|This beautiful scenery looks little different from behind bars...|
"You're not liking Babylon? You wanna go back home to your own land? Too bad!!! You and your families will be here 60 more years! You'll probably be cold and dead by the time God has mercy on Israel and restores your people to Canaan (Ezr 3:12)! Only after decades of toil and heartache and misery will your children return to the homeland... and God is letting you off easy!"So do you see how the context of 29:11 should shape our understanding of it today? Instead of a magic wand waved over our problems to make them disappear instantly, often God's promises have wonderful and beautiful fulfillments that we will not see in our physical lifetimes. We must apprehend (one of my favorite words... "to grab hold of") these truths and God's hope by faith and trust Him in the dark, depressing (yet temporary) times of our lives. Only then will we know the power of "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb 11:1).
Photos courtesy of williamcho, Fernando Silveira