He Knows the Plans

“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

There seems to be a belief among many Christians that God’s plans for us are always good.

He’s going to make us wealthy. He’s going to give us jobs that we love. He will bring peace and harmony into our families. He will always answer our prayers, bring us that husband or wife we’ve wanted for years, give us the most well behaved, smartest and perfect children on the planet. He will help us start the biggest church, launch an effective ministry and help us write a best-selling book. Everything we do will always succeed, always be going up and to the right. We will have minimal hardships, always be happy and will prosper in the way the world describes prosperity.

The plans God has for us will lead us into a nice life of purpose, direction and happiness.
At least, that’s what we want to believe.

We want God to have amazing plans for our lives. We want Him to give us the best family. We want the dream job, dream spouse, dream ministry or book or career. We want to believe that His plans will give us notoriety, fame and comfort.

We want His blessing more than His correction.
His presence more than His silence.
His benefits more than His suffering.

But His plans aren’t always that comfortable.

Sometimes, His plans hurt.
Sometimes, His plans bring loss.
Sometimes, His plans mean suffering and hardship and pain.

Abraham and Sarah waited roughly 75 years for a child.
Joseph spent time in prison.
David’s mentor tried to kill him multiple times.
Moses risked death when he had to face the most powerful man on the planet.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into a furnace.
Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den.
All but one of the Apostle’s faced torture and death.
Steven was stoned to death.
Jeremiah spent time in the stocks.
Ezekiel was told to cook his food over his own feces for over a year.
Hosea had to marry a prostitute.

These aren’t the kind of stories we read and desire for our own lives.
They aren’t the plans we want God to have for us.
They don’t evoke images of prosperity and hope and a future.

But each story, each trial, each struggle and hardship and loss was a part of God’s plan.

They weren’t the happiest of plans. They weren’t the kind of plans that brought comfort and peace and financial prosperity.

These were plans of redemption and hope and healing.
Plans that molded these individuals into the people God desired them to be.
Plans that transformed the world, and drew others back to God.

God’s plans may not always seem the best to us, but in the end, He uses each hardship in His plan to show others just how big He really is.

And so, my brothers and sisters, as you journey through plans that seem to be anything but hopeful, may you be reminded that God’s plan always changes lives. May you embrace the plan He has for you, whether a plan you consider good or bad. And may you find that the plan God has for your life is worth every hardship you have to endure.

How are God’s plans for your life bringing glory to Him?