Be Careful What You Ask For

A devotion on Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the LORD, “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future. You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You shall seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart.”
–Jeremiah 29:11-13

You’ve probably heard the saying: “Be careful what you ask for. You might get it!”

We pray because we have a need. We are lonely, so we pray to be married. We need to pay the bills, so we pray for a job or for money. We want to be released from a trial and we cry out to God for relief.

But, here in Jeremiah, God addresses people who are about to spend seventy years in exile. And in the previous verses, God tells them to make the most of it. Accept where God has placed you. Build houses. Plant gardens. Start a family. Be of service in your place of trial.

We pray out of need from our perspective. God answers us according to His. God knew what was best in Jeremiah’s day. God knows what’s best for us today.

So, be careful what you ask for. And be especially careful about making your faith contingent on having your prayers answered your way.

Trust that God always has your ultimate good in mind. No matter how long your trial may last, He will always show you how to live in hope and build a future if you seek Him with all your heart.


Dear Heavenly Lord, Even when my life looks bleak, I know You love me still. I believe that You want the best for me. I trust You to lead me where I should go. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Have I ever wondered why God doesn't release me from a particular trial? I will ask Him for the humility and wisdom to live life to the fullest wherever I am, rather than just waiting for my trial to end.