"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."New International Version (NIV)
This verse has special meaning to me. It has a powerful message and was instrumental in my decision to accept Christ into my life.
For many years, I took the words in the verse at face value. It wasn't until I heard someone questioning the meaning that I decided to do some research of my own. I found quite a few blogs and sermons (and even an article on eHow) about the context and true meaning of the verse.
It is important, imperative actually, that we understand the context of passages from the Bible. In studying the context of Jeremiah 29:11, I feel I have a better understanding of the true meaning. Even if you omit the contextualized words "plans to prosper you and not to harm you", I believe this verse still has a very powerful message: God knows us personally, has a plan for us, and allows us to find hope in Him.