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We are always on His mind!

Pastor Joe Engel
Emmitsburg Community Bible Church

(7/3) "‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’" - Jeremiah 29:11

You have a purpose! Your life has meaning! You are valuable!

God does not abandon His people! In this verse God was speaking to the Nation of Israel after years of brutal Babylonian captivity, suffering, confusion and discouragement. They thought they were forsaken, but God used these trials to strengthen them, and to be able to use them for His glory. Despite all the trials, tribulations, confusion and utter despondency, God did not abandon them.

God has His plans for you, too! He cares for you, you have a purpose, your life has meaning, you are valuable! You are always on His mind.

To "Prosper" means to give His people peace, tranquility and contentment. As Christians, that is God’s plan for us as His people. When you become a you become His child, you become one of His people. This promise is for every Christian.

To have "Hope" means that we have a confident expectation of our salvation. John 3:17 tells us that Jesus came into this world so that those who believe in him might be saved. As we believe in Him, accept Him as our Savior and turn from our ungodly ways, we then have HOPE through Him that whatever issues arise in our lives, He has the answer. He has the solution. He knows all about it and we can rest assured, His plan to give His children peace and hope is permanently in place. His promises are solid!

Our tendency is to look for things, people or events that will make us content, things. people or events that are better than what we have, things, people or events that we think we want. Consequently, we are never satisfied. We are always searching; we think there must be something better!

What if your ship never comes in? What if your dream never comes true? What if circumstances and situation never changes? In times like these, could you be content? In Philippians 4:11 the apostle Paul tell us that he has learned to be content in whatever situation arises. Can you say that? Contentment isn’t denying your feelings, contentment isn’t pretending things are alright when they are not. Contentment is freedom from being controlled by those feelings. It is the peace that comes from knowing that God is bigger than any problems or challenges you face and He will provide all you need.

The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:19 that God would supply all our needs through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Storms will darken the way, burdens may be hard to carry, sorrows and troubles that seem to hide the face of the Lord from us. Do not be deceived or fall into despair, thinking that He doesn’t care. God does know and He will get you through it all. The Lord stands ready and able to help you. Look to Him during the trying times of life. His promises are as good today as they have ever been.

The Lord thinks good thoughts about His people; His desire is to "GIVE" His people hope and a future. Not a single promise of the Lord will ever fail. You may be walking through the deepest, darkest, longest valley of your life and wondering if the Lord knows, or even cares about your situation. Let the promises of our Lord assure you, He knows, He cares. God misses nothing, because nothing surprises God. Remember, God cares for you, you have a purpose, your life has meaning, you are valuable. The Lord thinks GOOD thoughts about His people: as Christians, WE are His people. We know this because in Psalm 100: 3 we are told "…it is He that has made us and not we ourselves we are His people…" Wow!

The little sparrow that falls to the ground is seen by God. Mr. Doolittle of Elmira, New York was confined to a wheelchair and his wife had been confined to bed for over 20 years. Mr. Doolittle was always cheerful and loved life. Once Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle had a visit from Civilla Martin and her husband. Mrs. Martin was curious and asked Mr. Doolittle how he managed to remain so happy and cheerful when they had to suffer such challenges in life. Mr. Doolittle simply answered, "If God has His eye on the sparrow, then I know he is watching over me." Mrs. Martin was so moved by his reply that she wrote a poem that became a song. That song has brought joy and delight to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. That song says,

"Why should I feel discouraged, what if the shadows fall? Why should my heart feel lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me. I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

He is so concerned about your life that he even knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows everything there is to know about you. You see, the Lord the knows your deepest and darkest secrets, your thoughts, your motives, your plans, your dreams. This is monumentally encouraging because we know that nothing that happens in our lives catches the Lord off guard. It’s as though He says, "I got this!" Now, that’s a promise you can take to heart!

Our church has been blessed with the ministry of Gary and Debbie Buchman. As they continue their ministry with "Churches in Missions", we at ECBC will pray with them and for them.

By way of introduction, I have been a pastor for many years, and have had the privilege of preaching all around the world. I have been in revivals in India, Romania and here in the United States. It is a joy to share the Word of God to hungry hearts everywhere.

My desire and calling is to continue to preach the word of God.

As my wife Rochelle and I begin our ministry at Emmitsburg Community Bible Church, we are guided by the words of our Savior in Acts 1: 8(MSG) , "…and you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria…" Our Jerusalem is Emmitsburg, our Judea is Frederick County and our Samaria is Maryland. You are invited to join us as we endeavor to serve the Lord.

To learn more about Emmitsburg Community Bible Church visit their website at www. or better yet, join them for Sunday service at 10 a.m. the Emmitsburg Elementary School .

Final thought: Jeremiah 20: 11 "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Read other thoughtful writings by Pastor Joe Engel