I want to find out God’s plan for my life. Jeremiah 29 says he wants us to have prosperity. But things aren’t going so well. What should I do?

This has become a favorite passage for many. One reason, I think, is here the heart of God shines through—his desire for our well-being. Another reason is that it resonates with our individualistic spirit, especially when the passage is read out of context.

The prophet has just reminded the exiled people of God that their stay in Babylon will not be short. Their exile was definitely not their plan A. This was plan B, and the undesirable experience was to last 70 years (29:10, 25:11). Relief was promised, but as in the case of the Exodus, it would not be for a few generations.

God’s plan for your life is probably not health, wealth, and the dream job. Of course it may include a lot of great experiences, and who knows, he may bless you beyond your wildest dreams. We can be confident that the "abundant life" Jesus spoke of (John 10:10) is within reach. But beware of interpreting "life to the full" in terms of finances (prosperity). We do know this, whoever, from the scriptures: His will is that we become conformed to the character of Christ through a process of suffering and perseverance (Romans 5:1-3, 8:17,28-29, 12:1-2). As we aim to be like Christ we will discover his will.