See Your Future Through God’s Eyes

Jonathan Bernis was born into a middle-class Jewish family. His family went to temple for the high Holy Days, and they celebrated Passover, Hanukkah, and other significant Jewish feasts. When he turned thirteen he had his bar mitzvah, but this had to do more with his Jewish heritage than his relationship with God. “I had no real idea who Jesus was. I actually believed Jesus’s last name was Christ, that He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Christ,” reveals Jonathan.

His plan for his life was to earn an advanced business degree and become a multi-millionaire by age thirty. He believed in God, but did not really figure him into the plans for his life. In college, a friend that Jonathan previously hung out with who did drugs got saved. She witnessed to Jonathan and over time convinced him to go to a Bible study with her. At the Bible study, Jonathan felt the presence of God come into the room and made him aware of his physical separation from God. After this supernatural experience, Jonathan shared with his parents how he had surrendered himself to the Messiah. Sadly, his parents felt he had turned his back on his Jewish heritage and sent him to the rabbi. Jonathan tried to tell the rabbi when he surrendered to Yeshua, he discovered he could have an intimate friendship with the Creator of the universe, but the rabbi did not want to hear it.

Jonathan not only gave his life to the Lord, but was also delivered from not only using drugs, but from dealing drugs. He switched his major from business to theology, “I no longer cared about making a fortune, because I learned there is something to life that is far more important than money.”

God’s plan for his life was to go into ministry and to allow God to work through him to reach the Jewish people with the good news of the Messiah. In 1984, he became the founding and Senior Rabbi of Congregation Shema Yisrael in Rochester, New York where he served until 1993. He then became the founding congregational leader of the Messianic Jewish Center of St. Petersburg, Russia until 1997. Jonathan also founded Hear O’ Israel Ministries in 1993, which conducted large outreach festivals of Jewish music and dance worldwide. After Louis Kaplan, the founder of Jewish Voice Broadcast died in 1998, that ministry combined with Hear O’ Israel Ministries in 2000 to create Jewish Voice Ministries International with Jonathan as its President and CEO. “The plans God had for me were far better than any plans I could have devised for myself, and you can be sure that the same is true of you,” shares Jonathan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11). These words were given as a prophecy to the Jewish people over 2,500 years ago. Although these words were spoken to a nation, Jonathan says he believes these words also apply to every individual who is a child of God. Jonathan shares the Hebrew origins of the promises God made in the Scriptures:

  • Prosper – The Hebrew word translated as “prosper” in the NIV, “welfare” in the RSV and other translations, and “peace” in the KJV and NKJV is “shalom.” Shalom means peace, wellness, prosperity, etc. Prosperity is coming to a place of completeness in God, where everything we desire is His desire, and everything He desires is our desire.
  • Harm – “Ra” is the Hebrew word for harm or calamity. It means bad or evil. “God includes nothing harmful in His plan for you and me, and that means He doesn’t cause sickness or other personal tragedies,” shares Jonathan.
  • Hope – “Tikvah” is the Hebrew word for hope. It is found in the Scriptures thirty three times and means something expected, yearned for, or anticipated.
  • Future – “Acharit” is the Hebrew word for future. It means “to have an expected end.” It suggests that everything that is behind us, or all that we have left behind or gone through in our past, is part of a journey to a specific outcome. It carries the idea of an already settled destination; a preplanned destiny for our lives.

Jonathan says, “This world can be an uncertain, confusing, and dangerous place, but God has everything under control, and He has a plan for your life.” God has not caused things like terrorist bombings, crime, and natural diseases. Instead, we live in a fallen world and evil forces are at work on earth. In the end, everything will work out just as God has planned, and evil will be swept away forever.

In the movie, End of the Spear, five young men believed God was calling them to take the message of God’s love to the warlike Auca Indians who lived in the jungles of Ecuador. All of the men were killed  with spears and left to die on a sandy riverbank, but the story didn’t end there. Through the efforts of the families those martyrs left behind, the Indians were won to the Lord. Another example of how God has turned defeat into victory and delivered His people from evil and harm is the story of Joseph. He faced his brothers’ jealousy and the false accusations of Potiphar’s wife yet he went on to become the second most powerful man in the entire world – saving millions of people from death by starvation, including his own family.

Even when something bad happens, we can have more peace about it because we know that God is in charge, and that it’s all part of His plan. As you are pursuing God’s plan for your life Jonathan encourages you to remember the following:

  • Anyone who wants to know God’s plans for their life should spend time with Him every day.
  • See yourself how God sees you – If you have surrendered yourself to Yeshua, He sees you as perfectly righteous.
  • Always trust God’s timing – He has a plan, He knows best, and His timing is perfect.
  • If your plan for yourself doesn’t line up with God’s plan for you, change your plan.
  • It’s never too late to come to God and start living in the flow of His blessings. As long as you are living, He is standing there with open arms, ready to welcome you home.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Author, latest, A Hope and a Future (Charisma House, 2016)

President & CEO Jewish Voice Ministries International (JVMI)

Host of Jewish Voice with Jonathan Bernis, a TV show which can be seen in more than 675 million homes throughout the world (including Israel)

Married to Elisangela

They have two daughters, Liel and Hannah


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