Plans. We all have them. Some more detailed than others. Some rushed through, and others organized and long. Sometimes done consciously while others, we can make without thinking. But we always have plans. What happens is that many times our plans don’t come out as, well, planned. Sometimes we find we made the wrong plans. In other cases, we can say that simply they were bad plans.
The new year has begun, and I would like to talk about plans, but not my kind of plans or yours—I want to talk about God’s plans. Yes, God has plans. Plans for your life and mine… which, honestly, I find amazing. And in God’s Word He reveals something extraordinary about those plans.
Read these words with me, that you may already know, but between now and Friday, you tend to forget.
I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster. Plans to give you a future filled with hope. 12 Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me, 14 I will let you find me, declares the Lord. I will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I’ve scattered you, declares the Lord. I will bring you back from the place where you are being held captive. —Jer. 29:11-14
The context of the story: A prophecy from God to the exiles of Israel in Babylon. When one is banished that means you are without a country, without roots, without the known, without the familiar, and no future.
Have you ever felt this way? Are you entering the new year like that? As if you were in your own Babylon: like you’re walking through a tunnel with no light to see at the end? Even so, God has plans for your life. And I want you to focus on what this word is going to teach you about that.
1. God knows the plans He has for your you. (V. 11a) I know the plans. Many times the world around us makes us wonder if God really knows what he’s doing, or at least, if He is doing something in our lives because everything seems to be stagnant, and we will not ever leave Babylon. Yet look at what it says in Psalm 139:16: “Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus. Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place.” God knows the plans from the beginning . No war, financial crisis, global famine, pandemic or epidemic that comes our way can change God’s plan for our lives. He is God! His capacity is unlimited. God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He doesn’t change his mind. When he says something, he does it. When he makes a promise, he keeps it. (Num. 23:19)
King David understood that God had great plans for his life and in one of his psalms he wrote: “The Lord will do everything for me. O Lord, your mercy endures forever. Do not let go of what your hands have made” (Psalm 138 : 8). He lived with that certainty and so must we. God knows the plans He has for your life and for my life, he does not walk improvising.
2. God’s plans are for the better. (V. 11b) For some reason we sometimes think that God is some kind of cosmic killjoy whose plans for us consist of suffering, calamity, etc.. But God does not lie, and His word says the plans he has for us are for good.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t say that His plans for us are easy, or that we will have no problems, sorrows, diseases. The verse speaks of the goal of these plans: plans that are for the better… to give us a future filled with hope. When we begin to feel that we can not fully rely on God, because if we surrender to Him without reserve we’re going to “embitter existence,” I can assure you two things: either you do not really know the God you believe in, or you are believing the enemy. Jesus said that the thief (referring to the devil) comes to steal, kill and destroy, but he came to give us a full and abundant life (John 10:10). We have to trust that God’s plans for us have that goal.
Romans 8:28 is a passage that all Christians know: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God—those whom he has called according to his plan.” Perhaps you can’t understand your present situation—you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. You have to trust that God’s plans are for the better. He has a goal, and something you should want to accomplish in your life is to meet its purpose.
Good plans have steps. And if we want God’s purpose to be fulfilled, we have to adjust to His plan and let Him lead, while we follow his steps. I recently read this quote that read “a goal without a plan is just a wish” (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). What God has for us is a goal, a purpose, but only “until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard” (Eph. 4:13). And that’s what God had for us—a goal and a purpose that will produce the good in all of us, but that is different for each of us . If you try to compare God’s plan for your life with God’s plan for another person, you will just become frustrated. Each person is unique, and God’s plan is unique to each person. The only thing that is common in that respect, is that all of God’s plans are for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to his purpose. You have to say to God: “I accept your plan, whatever it is, because you love me and I know your plan for my life is for my good.”
These are the first two parts of what God is trying to display in that verse. I invite you to take a pen and paper and write down appointments. Read and process them calmly, alone with God. Ask Him to help you understand and trust these truths.
Join me next Monday for the second and final part of this post.
I wish you many blessings, while living a full and abundant life that God designed, and planned for you.