For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV)
The context of this verse is that God is making a promise to the nation of Israel. When people read this verse, they often miss the rest of the context and assume that this is a promise made to all God’s people for all time.
Yes, the promise recorded in this passage may be for more than just the Israelites. Just as the blessings of God have been passed down through the Israelites to believers, this promise can also be passed down.
However, its ultimate fulfilment is found in Christ, not in our material world (i.e., a job, financial security, a nice house or a spouse).
Many people refer to Jeremiah 29:11 and say “God has promised me prosperity and a future and a hope!” They make this their “life verse” and claim that in everything they do, God wants them to prosper. Yes! But…
…the prosperity promised is righteousness through Christ (not material wealth and prosperity).
…the future is a future of spending eternity with Christ in the fulness of His glory (not a future of financial security).
…the hope is a hope that comes with salvation from sin through Christ (not the hope of a better job or house).
God wants to fulfill these promises in everyone’s lives, but it is often assumed that the promises are fulfilled in the material world, and it is misunderstood what the promises actually mean.
Check out these two videos to hear one of the best explanations of this verse I’ve heard.