20161113_JLRussellBy Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Jeremiah 29:11-13
“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. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (NLT)

Have you ever been at a place where it seemed like you would never get out, like everything around you was crumbling down? Have you ever been in a place where any news would be good news, even if you knew it was a blatant lie? Have you ever been so stressed out that you felt like you were about to snap?

Jeremiah, who is the author of the book that bears his name, was called the weeping prophet. He cried because he was deeply in love with his people and they were headed for destruction. A great agony for him was that he, of all the prophets in the Bible, is the only one who never recorded one lost soul getting saved. He could not count one person who changed their behavior. His message was arguably the most difficult to deliver of all the prophets; judgment is coming, repentance is necessary, and they must surrender and be slaves to a heathen ruler, Nebuchadnezzar.

That’s what the Israelites were anticipating as the prophetic words of Jeremiah became a reality. After they were deported, they were looking at 70 years of doom and gloom. Yet Jeremiah, the weeping cry baby, had a word of encouragement.

In the midst of their pending misery and captivity (slavery), he tells them to build houses and live in them, to plant gardens and eat the produce, to take wives and have children with the inhabitants of those cities where they would be enslaved, to find husbands for their daughters and wives for their sons, to encourage them to have children so they would have grandchildren, to ask God to bless those cities and to work to secure peace for those cities. He tells them that the cities peace (shalom) would be their peace. They could rest assured that the Lord will never take His eye off of them because He had plans for them. He told them to bloom where they were planted.

Whatever you’re going through, wherever you are in life, know that He has plans for you too. There are no obstacles, no circumstance, and no situation that can stop you from blooming where the Lord has planted you. The only thing that can stop you is you! You’ve got to bloom where you’re planted.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen here or by phone at 626-226-1448. Be sure to friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook, Twitter @jlorenr, and email us at

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