For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (KJV)
For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. (NASB)
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. (NLT)
No matter how you slice it, no matter what translation or version it comes from, the bottom line is that God cares. As I read over this verse time and time again, I began to think of all the situations down through the years that I have endured and I pitied myself because I thought that each of those situations would be the one that would end my entire world. But God brought me through them all. Whether it was a broken heart, a devastating sin, the loss of a loved one, deep depression, financial distress, or overwhelming odds that may have been stacked against me, God saw me through. He never let me quit, He didn’t let me die, He didn’t give up on me even when I gave up on Him. His track record with me is impeccable. My track record with Him is horrific. But I am so glad that my goodness is not required for His love. He loves me with a love that unconditional in the truest sense of the word.
It is wonderful to know that God thinks of me. While I am not thinking of Him, He is thinking of me. God considers my welfare and all that it entails. He knows of my need for food, shelter, clothing, companionship, love, and spiritual nourishment. God gives me hope. He predestined before the beginning of time that I would have an “expected end”. I would have a “future”. I would have hope.
Joel 2:32 says ” And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be delivered.” I have found myself bound in some situations that were so desperately unpleasant, as I am sure every human being has at some point in life. How wonderful it is to know that in those desperate times, I can call on the Name of the Lord, and in His Word, He promises that I will be delivered! Praise the Lord.
Psalm 4:1 says “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness…” Did you hear that? I can call Him. Jeremiah 33:3 says “Call unto Me, and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” If I call Him, He will answer. He did not say that I would like the answer or get the answer that I expect, but He will answer me nevertheless. That sounds like a loving parent whose child calls them, and though the parent may not be able to give the child exactly what they want, they will always give the child an answer. Our God is so kind and so sweet.
I remember thinking many years ago how God never takes time off from us the way that we have to take time off sometimes. I mean, He never takes a coffee break, never takes a lunch break, never calls in sick, is never late, never goes on vacation, and never leaves us for a second. Hebrews 13:5 says “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…” God cares for you and for me.