Devotional

“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” – Philippians 3:13-14. 

As soon as Christmas ends, we anxiously await the words “Happy New Year.” Especially this year. We had outbreaks and the challenges that come with a pandemic in addition to our normal challenges. Doors closed as churches across the country tried to balance risk with the very real need to worship. Individuals fared no better. So it is no wonder why people were ready for the New Year to roll in. After all, we should see a return to life back to normal, so we get back to making plans for the future.     

Good plans are important. And necessary. So are New Year Resolutions. However, statistics indicate that a large number of plans fail. Statistics indicate that 75 percent of all resolutions will be broken before January ends. Plans must be more than declarations if they are to succeed. After all, how can we think, pray, and plan for the whole year in the first week of January?  We can’t. Doing so is often a blueprint for disappointment and failure. The only sustaining plan is God’s plan for our lives. When people say that God has a wonderful plan for their lives, they often mean that God will help them achieve their dreams. God’s plans for our lives are far superior to our ambitions, so sometimes the answer to our prayers is not what we are looking for because God has a better plan. Isaiah 64: 4 says, “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” God’s plan for our lives begins when we receive Him as Lord and Savior and ends in eternity. 

While it would be hard to argue that God’s plan is better than our plan, it usually takes a few failures, and some complaining before we realize God’s plan is the way to go. It also usually takes repairing of our self-inflicted damage before we get with God’s plan and we become useful for His purposes.  The key to any plan is to take it one step at a time and God’s plan is no different. Ecclesiastes 3:1-17 tells us there is a season for everything and that God has made everything beautiful for its own time. In additions, plans have destinations. God’s path for me is the plan.  It is an eternal path. And obstacles are often part of the plan.  It is the part that grows our faith and trust in HIm.  Many of us waver in our path when it is blocked by obstacles.  We sigh and chalk up this plan as something that was never going to happen. No barriers are too big for God. We need to trust Him and find a way over, through, or around the blockage. 

My prayer is that we learn to trust God with the future. He has a plan for each of our lives and He will bring good from our choice to trust Him.  Hebrews 11:39-40 says, “All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”

Discussion Questions:

  1. When people say that God has a wonderful plan for their lives, what do they usually mean?
  2. What can we do this week to trust and accept God’s plan for the future?