Hope in the midst of captivity: an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Refining Relationships entitled "The power of perspective in relationships"
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
While many people can quote Jeremiah 29:11, most people do not realize the context in which the verse was written. God was speaking through Jeremiah to the Israelites, who were taken captive to Babylon. Not only were they in exile, but the Bible says that God caused them to be taken captive. It is hard to grasp that God, who brings abundant life, would allow His children to be taken captive. However, God provided a way for them to have peace, even in captivity. He tells them to continue living life as normal and to seek Him to bring peace into their place of captivity.
Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters—that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace. Jeremiah 29:5-7
If you are one of the many people who feels captive in your own home, I encourage you to seek God for peace there. Contrary to what you see, your situation is not hopeless; God can bring peace to your place of exile. Hang on and see Jeremiah 29:11 come to pass! (Note: The exception to this is if you are in an unsafe place; know that abuse is not OK and that God may be removing you from the situation for your safety.) If you continually focus on your bondage, your perspective will steal your hope. Proverbs 13:12 tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” It is imperative that we allow hope to rise within us if we want to see seemingly hopeless relationships restored and refined. Imagine your hands grasping on to all the pain from a hopeless relationship. Now, imagine hope entering and your fingers loosening off of the pain one finger at a time. You are still holding the pain, but hope positions you to let God take it. Your hands are then open and ready to receive what God has for you in place of all the pain you were previously holding.
With over thirty years of experience as an educator, minister, and licensed professional counselor, Tammy Melton, LPC holds ministerial credentials with Harvest Network International and is the founder of Legacy Ministries for Christ, Incorporated and Legacy Freedom, LLC. Tammy desires to see people set free with tools of inner healing and relational unity. Tammy and Bill, her husband of 36 years, live in Fayetteville, GA and have two adult daughters.