God has plans for you

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
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.


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The financial seminar was meant to make you uneasy about the future. How will you guard against the ups and downs of the market? How can you be sure that social security will be there when you retire? How will you manage the increasing costs of medical treatment? Of course, they had all the answers. They had a plan. We should trust them. Unless they have a time machine hidden in a closet, they don’t know really know the answers. They just know how to be cautious. God is different. He knows the future and He has an individual plan for you. His plans give me hope because He knows what He is doing.

Sometime after the second deportation in 597, Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles in Babylon to tell them how to behave in their new land. There was a puppet king left in Jerusalem, but Jeremiah wanted them to know that they should get settled in the land, but not too settled. 70 years later, God will visit His people and bring them home. God wanted them to know how to live while they were waiting so that they could prepare themselves for His plan and so that they would not impede the plan that he has for them. The plan is all God’s and there is nothing that they can do to make things happen faster. There is also no reason to worry because God will take care of them as they dwell in this new home.

I want you to claim the promise in the verse above as your own. In these confusing times, it is easy to get lost. We don’t always know what to do for the kid’s college or for future health problems. The answer is to draw closer to the Lord in worship, Bible study, and prayer so that the Lord can guide you and help you prepare in little ways for tomorrow. As you are close to the Lord, live out your life in His wisdom. Save what you can and have a good budget for your finances. Get some exercise and eat better foods when you can. Serve the Lord by working smartly and honestly at your job. Finally, take time for family and friends so that you can find fulfillment in their love. Do those “little” things and let the Lord take care of the big future that you can’t control. God has plans for you. It is time to trust God and stop worrying about tomorrow. Put your future in His hands.

What is one part of your life that you would like to put in God’s hands? What is one little thing that you can do to improve your finances, health or relationships with others?  

Plan or Propose?

Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

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I entered the hospital room and was amazed at how life had changed in an instant. The healthy person I had seen earlier in the week was lying in the hospital bed clinging to life as he suffered the effects of a massive heart attack. Gone were the plans for a trip to Florida. Gone was the celebration of Christmas with the grandkids. It reminded me of how fragile life can be and how all our plans are but proposals before an Almighty God. We prayed and we asked the Lord to help this person and this family. Life had changed, but the love of God had not.

It is always good to have goals and plans in life. One drifts in the wind without them. Yet, plans should always include the Lord. We can ask, “What will I be doing next year or in five years?” However, we need to hold onto those plans loosely because the Lord or life can step in and rearrange our plans. I think of the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12 who made plans without the Lord only to lose everything in a single night. Life can change in an instant, yet if we put God’s desires at the center of our planning, we have a direction that will not fail us. He will help us through the difficulties of life. We hold onto Him because He will never leave us.

I bring find it helpful to bring my plans to the Lord in prayer. He helps me to weed out the selfishness of the rich fool and to be comfortable in this ever-changing world. I propose what I would like for the future, but I always ask the Lord to plan that future for me. My vision of the future is imperfect and cloudy. His vision of my future is crystal clear and filled with opportunities that I can’t begin to see yet. His future for me will always be better than my vision of that future. Life can change, but He will bring good things out of the bad and better things out of the good. I will propose what I want for the future, but I want His plan and not my own. His plan for me will not be taken away by the struggles of life. My plan is to place my life in His hands so that no matter what happens, I will be living in His plan for me.