“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Promises like these in the Old Testament are encouraging almost beyond words. To find ourselves in the midst of a truly difficult season–especially one in which we are reaping the bitter fruits of time spent sowing unrighteousness in our lives and the lives of those around us–and to encounter these kinds of reassurances to a people who were in just that kind of a situation, gives us hope that the mess doesn’t need to be our end either. But in this hope and encouragement that God is for us, these promises were intended to accomplish something even more important.
The greatest thing about these and other similar promises of restoration is that they have already been fulfilled. We don’t have to wait on seeing how God is going to come through on such grand assurances because He already has. The whole of the Old Testament is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We live in the day when the promises of God to a people of old have been fulfilled. We need only claim what He has already made available to us.
If you are feeling low, take up the encouragement God has already offered. If you are feeling lost, know well that He calls you found. If you think you’ve lost the path, the way has been made clear in Christ. No matter what hills or burdens you are facing, the way forward is available to you. You need only claim it and start moving again, but this time toward the abundant life. Your exile is ended in Jesus. Come home and experience the wonder of being found.