Out of Context | “God has Good Plans for You!” Jeremiah 29:11

“Out of Context” is a series dedicated to verses of scripture, often used in today’s conversations, that have little to do with the context by which it was written. 

Context | (1) the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed; (2) the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.


Today’s Verse.

Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”

This has to be one of the top 10 verses that I hear Christians use today that has little CONTEXT for when and how they use it.

Sometimes it’s innocent, like an email signature or an encouraging verse for the day.  However, most of the time it’s read (all by itself) by a high school student getting ready to go to college with the promise that God has great things in store for them. Or by the person getting ready to go on a mission trip and are excited about the “good plans” God has in store for them… and no bad plans. Or it’s in a social media post that goes along with someone’s brand new goal in life (new job, new city, new opportunity) in which they claim that God is leading them and has nothing but sunshine and success waiting for them.

God does have a plan for your life. Don’t get me wrong.  He does LOVE that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone to go on that mission trip or move to a new city where He’s given you a job opportunity. However, there are more verses in scripture that better align with those circumstances than Jeremiah 29:11.

I would guess that more than 90% of people who have ever spoken this verse has absolutely NO IDEA the context in which this Word from God was given to His people. However, if you just read the 5 verses before it – it would be very clear.

New Podcast – The Tension is Real Episode 5 – A House Divided

How to Deal with Different Belief Systems under one roof

Welcome to The Tension is Real Podcast. A podcast dedicated to real discussion about the TENSION that exists between Life and Faith and how to embrace it so we can live with purpose and freedom.

Today’s Topic – The Tension of a House Divided
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Why EVERYONE should watch “Mom’s Night Out”

Great illustration of the TENSION that cannot be Resolved

momsnightoutOkay, I know what you’re thinking… “Seriously, a chick movie…” “WAIT, a Christian chick movie!!!”.


I won’t recommend many things like this, but occasionally I will notice a movie or a book that I think needs a shout out. Please note, this movie is not a chart topper, it won’t win any awards, and there’s plenty of Christian velveeta at times – but it is a FANTASTIC picture of TENSION in one woman’s life that simply is too good to ignored.

Many of us live what I would call “normal” lives. There’s nothing super exciting about them. We work, we take care of our homes, we have friends, we have family that’s messed up, and we don’t have any “major” problems… this should cause us to be fairly content with life.

However, even in those quiet times, many of us go through seasons of wondering, purposelessness, and searching for “something” that will resolve the TENSION we still feel in our hearts. The questions that nag us “Am I doing this right?, Is there more?, What if I’m on the wrong path?”

I am a strong proponent of asking those questions. Even taking steps to test the boundaries of what is around you to see if they are real or just ones we’ve placed on ourselves. I’m NEVER a proponent of huge, reactionary, impulsive acts of desperation (buy a corvette, leave your spouse, sell everything and move to Zimbabwe). This leads to nothing but personal heartache and usually family devastation in the wake of your decisions.

However, this movie portrays the perfect (albeit exaggerated) “Night Out” in which 3 moms simply looking for a night out of the routine get caught up in an adventure that reveals many of those questions that are longing to be answered and tensions resolved.

It’s a typical modern movie, the wives/moms are OCD and the husbands/dads are useless when it comes to the kids and how to help their wives. I’m not a huge fan of this constant agenda to portray women as neurotic freaks and men as idiots, but that’s hollywoods MO right now – so I live with it in movies.

Sean Astin (RUDY!) does a great job in this movie and Sarah Drew also delivers a convincing wife/mom filled with a TENSION that simply cannot be resolved.

Conclusion – “Mom’s Night Out” is a great illustration, a fun movie night in, and if you’re paying attention – you will see the incredible POWER in the TENSION that simply cannot be resolved in our lives. It starts out in the movie as the THING that must be solved in order to have happiness and peace, but ends with understanding that this TENSION (these questions of life) when redirected give purpose and meaning to our lives and actions.  

So go ahead, watch it.  Let me know if you agree.

Available in DVD and Amazon Instant Video.