Friday, August 11, 2017

For I know the Plans I have for You...

"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 a hope and a future."

This is one of my favorite scriptures! I love to plan...plan my workday, plan my weekly menu, plan our vacation, and write it ALL in my monthly planner. I like to know what I am doing so I can "mark it done" and have that since of accomplishment. 

Many times our plans are not God's plans, and our ways are not God's ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) I used to get upset and stressed when things did not go as I had planned. But, I have learned that I can plan... and still be flexible. There will be times when something comes up that must take priority over what is on my list for that day. It may be a task that is more important, a sick family member that needs attention, or a divine appointment with a stranger. I don't want to be so busy that I miss an opportunity that is placed before me.

I know God's plan is better than my plan and I have to trust Him and be sensitive to his leading in order to stay on the right path. I want to be in the center of His will; whether I am working, with my family, or doing a ministry for the Kingdom. 

The path is not always clear. At times, it can be scary because I don't know what is going to happen next. I want to see ahead and know that everything is going to work out... but God knows. He can see ahead and more importantly He sees the "big" picture. He knows what is best for me and His plan includes good things for my future! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

You Are On The Path to Your Destiny!

God's plan for you is not just for you. His plan includes using you to help others in this world.

God always works on more than one level, what he is doing in you, for your benefit, and what he's doing through you, for the benefit of those around you.

Think about Joseph for a moment:
He had a dream that his family was bowing down to him. He thought the dream was about himself, but Joseph's purpose was so much bigger. He would ultimately sustain the lives of not only his own family but so many other lives as well. (Genesis 50:20 - You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives)

We often say, "If I'd only known then what I know now..." We can't see the end. We may not even be able to see the next step, but if we trust God and believe in his word than you must believe Job 8:7 which says, 'Though my beginning was small, yet thy latter end shall greatly increase' and Jeremiah 29:11 that says 'For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans for a hope and a future'.

The Lord has a plan for you and even if it starts out small don't be discouraged. It took twenty years for Joseph to fulfill his purpose. In that time, he dealt with struggles, pain, lies, heartache, loneliness, and lots of emotions. During that time God was shaping Joseph and preparing him for what was to come. He positioned him in the right place at the right time to fulfill God's greater purpose.

You are on the path to your destiny. It may be tough, painful, and emotional but God is using this time to shape you into the person he intends for you to be. He is strengthening you, building your character and maybe even testing your faith. He needs a strong person to do His work. When you are facing trials remember James 1:2-4, 'Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance...'

Your path of pain can be your place of preparation. When the road gets difficult, don't look for a way out. Ask God to guide you through and teach you what you need to learn. He will walk through whatever it is with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Know that God is using your circumstances to prepare you for what lies ahead. Be encouraged that God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28)

This post was inspired by the book, "Now What: An honest look at following Jesus through difficult times." by Scott Rodgers (affiliate link provided)