“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all of your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13 ESV
This simple promise came directly from God through the prophet Jeremiah to Israel in the midst of their Babylonian captivity. In their exile, and in their sojourning, God promised to be gracious to them, even though they had been disobedient to Him.
He promises that His plan for them in their exile was welfare, not evil. His plan was to give them a future and hope. That He would hear their prayers, and would be found by those who seek Him.
This promise still rings true for Christ’s bride, the church. The church is God’s chosen people. A holy nation. A royal priesthood. God’s special possession. These were all titles that were applied to the nation of Israel in the Old Covenant (Deut. 7:6; 14:2), and are applied to the Church in the New Covenant ((1 Peter 2:9).
Like Israel, we sojourn in a strange land (1 Pet. 2:11-12), awaiting the one that is to come (Heb. 11:16, 13:14). And though we are a people in exile, God promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him.
Though it seems that a host of enemies encamp around the church, God’s plan for His holy nation of priests – the church, is welfare, not evil. He hears us when we pray, and He will give us a future and hope.
This is true of us corporately and individually. This should bring hope to our sojourning hearts. The gates of hell will not prevail against us! The Church of Christ has a future and hope.
We need to be reminded of this daily. We need to guard our minds and hearts from the narrative that the world spins, and shift our gaze upon the promises of God. We have reason to be optimistic, not pessimistic.
Like Israel, we should be faithful in our time of sojourning. Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Start businesses. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there and do not decrease, Seek the welfare of the city you’re sojourning in, and seek the Lord. He promises that He will be found.