"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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
The prophet Jeremiah was speaking to the Israelites held captive in Babylon. Jeremiah is not saying that prosperity and safety come quickly to those who have a right relationship with God. He tells the Israelites that the Babylonian captivity was not going to be short. The captives should make lives in Babylon, and those remaining in Jerusalem should expect a long wait before their enemies are vanquished.
However, Jeremiah says - while you may suffer now, in the end, God will reveal His plan; that plan for us will be relationship with Him. As we look toward 2019, we seem to have so little time to make big changes to our global fossil fuel use. It may feel like God ought to rescue us from our climate problems or that He should step in and make our work successful. That is not what we are promised.
We are not guaranteed an easy solution in the near future, but we are promised a hope and a relationship with God even while we live in a fallen world. There is joy in this waiting and working. What joy Jeremiah describes to the exiles and what joy we will have as we live faithfully in this broken world!
Dear God of new beginnings and faithful waiting,
You have created this world and have loved your creation. Thank you for equipping us to do your work, for the opportunity to serve you and others by care of your creation. We pray that that we, your faithful people, would not look for immediate success but for the promise you have made. We are to live here fully, and you have a plan of hope for our future. God, we pray for our world and for those who suffer need. May we be your hands and feet, to make a difference and to testify to the love of Christ by our own love of others.
We pray for this in the name of Jesus, Amen.