The Promises and Plans of God

A Sunset on a Texas Farm

Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”

This is probably one of my favorite verses in the Bible because it is like a promise and a plan all rolled up into one. That God will take care of us and has the plan all worked out.
When trouble hits your life, it can seem like the plan God has for you is off track and that He has stepped away from a promise of care and provision. It is interesting that we judge whether something is good or not based on how we feel and the circumstances around us observing everything through human thought and reasoning. A key to remember when going through a struggle in life is that if we knew what God was doing in the situation then WE would BE God…and we are not.
Pain is no respecter of persons and can hit in life for no apparent reason with crippling force. So if we know that trouble can and will happen in life, the question should not be IF pain hits but what are we going to do with that pain? If you are a follower of Christ, will you trust that God has the plan all worked out? You have the ability to rest in the fact that He has plans to give you a “hope and a future” instead of actually blaming him for the problems. If you don’t know Jesus, there is a place to take the hurt and pain you may feel right now. The Bible talks about God giving us a “peace that passes ALL understanding.” Basically, it is a peace that seems crazy to the rest of the world and it is there for us if we would throw ourselves into the arms of God.
It is amazing when problems are eliminated by prayers and God instantly moves on someone’s behalf but there are also times of walking THRU the valley of the shadow of death and God sustaining someone which can also be an answer to prayer. No one really knows why prayers are answered differently for people but one thing is true; there has never been a case of a follower of Christ complaining and being mad at God that has changed a situation for the better. And actually, those attitudes have made situations worse.
Today, maybe you are in a place to just thank God for all the blessings in your life and are doing pretty well. Maybe you are in a place of deep challenge and feel like giving up. I have been in both places and made good and bad decisions in both cases. It is important that you are praying and asking God for his will in your life even when things are going wrong. True faith in Christ is built when we trust God in the process instead of turning to complaints and questioning his ways. It doesn’t make things easier to have faith but what have you ever gained in life that meant something to you and didn’t take effort?
Have a great day and know that you have prayer and will make it if you just don’t quit!!

Quietness; the lost art of many Christians

This morning I was really struck with the power and importance of Jesus and his example he showed during the crucifixion process of not talking to his accusers and directing all his comments to God his father.  Now anyone who knows me knows that quietness is not one of my hallmarks or traits as a Christian and, in fact, it has gotten me into more trouble through the years than soliciting laughs.  All through my school career as a kid my teachers would all say, “Brian is such a wonderful boy, but he just has a problem with talking…” Even to this day, my mind works so fast that when anyone says anything I normally have four to five quick witted things I could say at any given moment.  I say this because God was really pushing me this am to not be “reactionary with my words” and to really think before I speak or not to speak at all especially when someone around me is getting mad at me for some reason. Jesus was such a perfect example of quietness to us as believers when we feel like we are being accused or taken advantage of.  Even though everything they were saying about Jesus was false, He still continued to be quiet.  I really want to work on this trait as a follower of Christ. To me, quietness is proof that your justification is not in defending your position but it is truly in Christ and the work He is doing in you and through you. Let Jesus and the work he has done in you be enough to silence your critics when you are being accused and just mentally rest in God and the peace only he can give.  Literally, a peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)  Have a great week.