Read Jeremiah 29:1-13

“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 29:11-13 (NIV)

Today’s scripture came to me at a time when I felt hopeless. I was very poor, my son had committed suicide, and less than a year later my grandson died of cancer. It felt as if the bottom of my world had fallen out. At first I was angry—angry at God for allowing this and angry at my son and the medical profession. Slowly but surely I came to realize that bad things happen to good people and that God has never promised us a life without pain and hardship. What God did promise, though, was love enough to wipe away our tears and to hold on to us when we do not have the courage to go on. It has taken a lot of time, and I am still recovering. But one thing I have learned is that in spite of all the bad circumstances, in spite of the pain, God is a good God who understands our pain and will never leave us or forsake us—even when it feels otherwise. All we need to do is to trust God’s promises, cry out to our loving Father, and persevere. When we do, we can rest in the assurance that we will one day be reunited with our loved ones. God will do the rest. Prayer: Father of light, we pray for all who have lost loved ones. Bring them peace and comfort. Amen. Thought for the day: Through good and bad, God holds on to me. —Amanda Thompson, South Africa