“This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:10-11.
How do we choose what path to take for our life? We have more options than any generation before us. Technology, status, material wealth, and a global community presents the average person with more opportunities than our parents could have ever imagined. With all those choices, how do you choose the direction of your life?
As believers, we trust God and know that His plans for us are good as we read in Jeremiah 29:11. Romans 8:28 tells us that God desires good for His children. This theme is repeated throughout the Bible. When we think about God’s good plans for us, we usually focus on the usual suspects; finding and marrying our soulmate, raising wonderful children, rising up through the ranks at work, and retiring comfortably by the time we are age 60. When we have our plans mapped out like that, God can become our life coach rather than our Lord. We want God to monitor our progress as we move through those steps and to intervene when we need His help. Instead of seeking God’s plan, we too often expect Him to comply with our prayer instructions for our lives. And when God says no, we wonder why when our lives wind up nothing like our expectations. Sometimes the path He leads us down is a difficult one. Sometimes we may find ourselves out of our comfort zone.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Notice it doesn’t say, “my way, but my ways.” God has more than one way of doing things. He’s not limited in His options. He’s never forced into one answer. He has many alternatives. Our problem is that we get a preconceived idea and want God to do what we want our way. We always pick the least painful way of having God answer prayers. God may not see it that way.
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.” When God says no we need to continue praying and trust God. God is good. He never disappoints. Though He doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way we would like, He knows what’s best for us. The Bible says “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16:11) God is good and His plans for your life can be trusted.
- When was a time when you really knew you were living God’s plans for you? How did you know? Or, when was a time when you realized that you were not living God’s plans for you? How did you know?
- Proverbs 16:4 says: “The Lord has made everything for His own purposes.” What are the implications of this verse for our lives?