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Con artists succeed in their trade by giving people false hope. They scam others to enhance their own self-image or to pad their pockets. Long ago a false prophet gave ancient Israel the false hope that their exile would be short-lived. God judged that false prophet and then sent a true message of hope to the exiles, found in Jeremiah 29. God said, “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 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.” Even though, in the near term, God disciplined and refined their character, he assured them that after the exile He would bless them. So it is with us. When it seems as if God has abandoned or forgotten us, we should think again. God has a commitment with those who have truly accepted Him, and His Son as their Savior. He will discipline and refine us, but never abandon us. God has plans for His children–His plans are good, wise with excellent outcomes; they leave no regrets; they benefit us, others, and most of all, they bring glory to Him.

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