No Harm?

It’s so easy to take Bible verses out of context.  Our modern rendering of the Word of God broken into chapter and verse lends itself to lifting a sentence or two and ignoring the surrounding words.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter much-the verse CAN stand on its own.

But sometimes it is devastating.  Especially to those who find themselves in a situation that seems to clearly contradict the promise.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse plastered on posters, coffee cups, graduation cards and lovely Christian wall hangings.

jeremiah 29 11 road.jpg

It’s a hard one for me to swallow the way it’s usually dished out.

Death feels pretty much like harm to me.

I can spiritualize the verse and say, “Well, God’s ultimate plan is to give me and Dominic a hope and a future”.  

That is absolutely true.  

But that’s not what Jeremiah was talking about.  He was speaking to a specific people at a specific point in time.

The original context of the Scripture was just for Israel-a promise that the nation would not be utterly destroyed or left bereft in exile. A promise that God would fulfill His covenant with Abraham and keep for Himself a people to declare His faithful love to the nations.

I think we moderns take it out of context when we apply it to individual lives.

Many Jews died in exile and not all who could return, chose to return when Cyrus issued the order.

The Scripture that speaks to my heart in this Valley of the Shadow of Death is this:

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Philippians 1:6 AMP

Here is my HOPE.  Here is MY promise of ultimate redemption and restoration.

God is still working to bring about His purpose in and through Dominic and in and through me “until the day of Jesus Christ”.

I don’t know how it works but He’s doing it.

He Who is Faithful and True has promised.




Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

5 thoughts on “No Harm?”

  1. I’ve tackled this verse too. I agree with you, but I think it can apply to us also. God never plans bad things. God is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father. In my opinion, God didn’t desire our children to die. That is the direct fault of this fallen world. So, His plans are not to harm us. He wants to give up Hope and a Future. Sin has rule of this world, but not ultimately.
    In the present time on earth, sin can and often does cause harm….and even death. That is not God.
    This verse helped me sort out my feelings of “distrust” in God, my feelings that God wasn’t who I had thought He was. This verse reassured me that God did not orchestrate her death. His plans were always to give her hope and a future. Satan used an impaired driver going highway speed in the middle of town. It was sin that killed my daughter. That is not hope and a future. Praise God that Kelsi does have the future that God promised her though…eternal life is definitely a future.

    You are a blessing straight from God.
    “Thank you” doesn’t near describe my gratitude for your gift and your willingness to use that gift to share hope to shattered hearts. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true! All scripture is written FOR us (an example), but not all scripture is written TO us. This is one reason those who believe in eternal conscious torment get it so wrong. The context does matter.


  3. Amen. I totally agree. I’ve seen a number of us bereaved bloggers tackle this verse in the same manner. I believe I did too. Even Romans chapter 8 needs to be kept together to get it’s whole meaning. Which I wrote about early on. I still ask the Spirit to pray for me when I can’t, don’t want to, or have no idea what to pray for. Well done and thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AMEN! AMEN!! I’m so thankful you tackled this subject. Taking a verse out of context can change the whole meaning of what God meant. And sadly, most people don’t know the OT and are in churches where the OT is almost entirely ignored. So removing verses from the OT (and NT) as well without understanding WHO it is written to and the historical events occurring around that verse is dangerous. And sometimes, even verses IN context, such as Romans 8:28 can be hurtful depending on when and how it is used. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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