I was having a conversation with a Christian friend tonight about the trials we are both going through. As business owners, we are seeing some very tough times. I personally cannot seem to get off the ground and he cannot sustain consistent revenue. It would be easy for either of us to question God. We go to church, we read our Bible, we pray every day, and we live our lives for Jesus. Here is where I quote Jeremiah 29:11 (below). So why isn’t God hooking our businesses up? Well when it comes to Jeremiah 29:11, the translation that’s often quoted isn’t really accurate. Let me show you a comparison.
For 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. NIV 84
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ESV
We all want to quote the NIV because it sounds so much better. “Plans to prosper”. Prosper relates to success which we relate to finances. The problem is, that that translation just isn’t accurate and gives us a false sense of who God is. God loves us and God provides for us. But providing doesn’t mean abundance of wealth when it comes to God. The better translation shows more accurately that God wants to give us peace and comfort in Him, in spite of what our success looks like.
Once I begin to understand who God really is, I see that His purpose is to show me that my life is amazing regardless of my success. And even greater, when I don’t have success and all the goodies that come with it I have more time to focus on Jesus. All my “stuff” used to bring me joy, now my Jesus brings me joy.