CONTEXT: Mathew Henry breaks this into two major themes; Two letters to the captives in Babylon; In the first, they are recommended to be patient and composed. (1-19) In the second, judgments are denounced against the false prophets who deceived them. (20-32)
I can not count the number of times our verse for today has been posted, plastered, or said out of context to me over the years. Biblical Hermeneutics, in short trying to understand what the bible says, is usually done in one of two manners. Exegesis is carefully reading the text and drawing out meaning from it, Eisegesis is reading the meaning into the text.
In our text today it is easy to say God is talking about all His chosen people (you) and that He has only positive plans for our welfare and no evil will befall us. Except it is NOT TRUE! Generally speaking, we can apply this to all God’s chosen people but unless you live in fantasy land, you know folks, who are solid Christians who get sick, get robbed, or have other calamities happen to them no what?
No context demands this in not some catchall, name it and claim it verse (like Psalm 37:4) those cults are so fond of using. Read v.8-10, God warned the Jews not to listen to false teachers (prophets) and that same warning applies to us.
Finally the last phrase, to give you a future and hope, in context is referring to the restoration of the Jews after the captivity. Can it be generally applied to today, yes, in the sense that God gives a future and hope to all His redeemed in the form of Eternal Life in Christ.
Father, no matter the circumstances I acknowledge your sovereignty in all things. I ask that you give me the strength and wisdom to trust in you no matter the season no matter the environment. I pray for the protection of your chosen peoples and my loved ones that we may one day all share in the future hope. AMEN.