One of the Scripture verses that’s quoted frequently in bible teachings in reference to God’s plans and purposes for those who’ve committed their lives to Him is (Jeremiah 29:11). This verse was found in a letter prophet Jeremiah had sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, along with the prophets and all the other people king Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. It’s the very part of that particular letter that stands out the most. This took place years after the Babylonians had plundered the entire city of Jerusalem.
Let us meditate on this powerful verse found in that letter.
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 (Jeremiah 29:11).
The verse undoubtedly sounds very promising, hopeful, and encouraging; however, it wasn’t to be fulfilled immediately. This great promise finally came to pass after 70 years while the Jewish people were in exile when the Lord brought them from exile into their homeland. The fulfillment of this verse truly underlines the faithfulness of God despite of how unfaithful, idolatrous, and rebellious the Jewish people were to Him.
Does God really have plans for all of His children? The answer to that question is a big yes. But we need to keep in mind that His plans won’t always come to pass as we think due to the fact that God operates on the basis of His perfect will and divine timing.
Even if we’ve received a promise from God, that alone doesn’t guarantee that all would just go well for us until it’s fulfilled. Before we even get there, it’s very likely that we’ll find ourselves being struck by unexpected life’s issues which will even challenge our belief about God concerning that promise. The mindset that we should embrace is to see life’s challenges through the lens of what God can bring out of them instead of how terrifying they may look.
The Story Of Joseph
Joseph’s story is one of the stories that we can consider. In two different occasions God had shown Joseph that He would have made him become a very powerful man during his young age through two dreams (Genesis 37:6-7, Genesis 37:9). At that time Joseph was living in a very hostile environment as a result of his father preference of him over his brothers.
These two dreams had escalated the animosity and hostility even further since Joseph told them something they would have never wished him to become as a result of their constant jealousy. Shockingly, Joseph ended up experiencing his worst nightmare during his youth. Apparently, it was an event that seemed to deliver a devastating blow to Joseph’s dreams. Furthermore, it was also an event that went totally against where Joseph would have probably thought God wanted to take him.
His own brothers tried to kill but changed their mind later. They threw him into a pit, and was then sold into slavery. He was innocently thrown into prison as a result of his firm conviction. That’s exactly where his dream was in the process of becoming a reality. Well, it’s quite possible for God to tell us where He’d like to take us; however, He’ll not always show us all the difficulties that lie ahead.
Our tendency is to hope that somehow God is going to take us there through the easiest way as possible. That’s not always the case at all. Joseph’s dream finally became a reality after more than 10 years (Genesis 41:46). But one thing that we cannot escape is the fact that once we finally make it, the blessing will be worth all the pains, rejections, and humiliations we went through.
Troublesome life’s circumstances will not alter God’s plans and purposes for our lives. God has a plan for everyone. As His children, He wants us to live our lives by relying on that. Every day we wake up, we have to think about the fact there’s something that God wants to accomplish through us for His own glory. This will motivate us to condition our lives in such a way God can use us whenever He wants.
You may be going through tough times, but that shouldn’t define whom you are in God. Your belief must revolve around the fact that His plans and purposes for your life are greater than your current circumstances. Accepting God’s plans for our lives means embracing Him as the sovereign God of this universe. Meaning that He has every right to determine when and how His plans will be fulfilled in our lives on the basis of His perfect will and timing.
Heavenly Father, we’re not here by an accident. You knew all of us right before we were even born. You’re the giver of life since you’re the source of every life. You’ve made us for a very specific purpose which is to bring You glory in everything we do. You do things in us, through us, and with us, so You alone can be glorified through us. What’s awesome about whom You are is that You’re not a God who is taking advantage of us.
We pray that You give us strength, patience, and endurance as Your will is being fulfilled through us in the most difficult times possible. Everything that You do through us is for our own good, and it’s also a privilege to have the creator of this universe working through us. We pray that we understand that by living a life that reflects that belief. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.