This misused verse is not a bad misuse, as long as it is used within limits, but I expect it could be a little controversial to discuss, due to the fact that so many pastors (mine included) use it. Generally, this verse is ok to use, as long as it is used within a spiritual context. But, if it is applied to every aspect of our lives, then it can be very misleading to non-believers. The verse that I am referring to is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." [a] Also peace.
Like I said previously, this verse is often interpreted to mean Christians will be prosperous in every thing they do in this life. I believe this is an incorrect assumption. First, because of context.
Most passages in the Bible, including this one, have an address label. Jeremiah 29:1-2 outlines this "1These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem." This not only gives us an address, but also a time. Not to be rude, but unless you can trace you ancestry back to the exiles who were taken from Jerusalem after King Jeconiah and the others listed there, then this verse doesn't really apply to you, sorry.
Secondly, there are other verses that we Christians can look to that apply specifically to us, that promise better things than a good life now. See: Matthew 25:14-30, 25:31-40; Mark 9:35-37; 1 Cor. 15:50-58; 2 Cor. 4:14 & 16-18; and 1 Pet. 5:4. Among countless others. Note that these verses almost all warn that this body is temporary, and that our reward is eternal glory, not riches in this life.
Finally, I want to reinstate that I am not condemning the use of this verse, as long as it is used as applying to our spiritual peace and prosperity. That being said, It should still be used with caution, even while it is being used in a spiritual context.
I am extremely sorry for the long wait for this new blog post, and I will try to be a little better about posting in the next few months, but no guarantees, college started for me. Although the Word of God takes priority over college, blogging about it does not.