(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Are you a planner?
Are you a person that has your calendar scheduled, your goals defined, and your daily steps to execute it all? You are to be commended. I could use a bit more of that – simply to be a better steward of each of the days God has given to me.
How do you react when the ability to execute YOUR plan fails? Does your world fall apart when your plans fall apart?
I remember years ago a mom whose son was very good at baseball. He was a top player at the high school level and the mom loved watching him play and was very proud of him. College scholarships were on the horizon and there was certainly potential in his skill to make the major leagues. Until…
He suffered a major break in his arm.
I remember interacting with the mom and her frustration not just at the situation but at God were evident. How could God kill her son’s potential? Why did this have to happen when he had such great ability and potential?
I don’t know. But I do know this:
God’s plan is always perfect, but not always my preference.
I lost track of this family, but professional baseball was not God’s plan for his life.
When our plans change it is frustrating and challenging, but when I realize the change in plans was God’s way of caring for me, I will react very differently.
Instead of getting mad at God, I will be glad he changed things for my good.
I am sure it wasn’t in Jeremiah’s life-plan to spend 70 years in captivity in the nation fo Babylon. No one scrips their life goals and says, “I want to spend 70 years of my life in prison, without freedom and at the whims of other people.” At least I never would.
However, even in the hard exile into Babylon, the Lord spoke through Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 29:10-11 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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.
Captivity wasn’t the end for Israel. It wasn’t the end to God’s promises. It wasn’t the end to God’s faithfulness. In fact, it was the next step for God to bring blessing to them in the future and to bring THE Blessing from them into the future.
While captivity in Babylon wasn’t their choice, perhaps one of the blessings was the influence of the LORD in that region. Tradition says the wisemen who visited little boy Jesus were spiritual descendants of David and other faithful Jews in Babylon…500 plus years earlier.
When God’s Spirit enables me to trust that God always gives what is good, even when it isn’t what I need, I can also trust him that his plan for my life is perfect, even if it is not my preference.
Has God changed your plans recently? Just remember and look for God to bring blessing in his time and way…knowing that he changed the plans to “prosper you, to give you hope and a future.”
Apply: When has God changed your plans? What was the blessing that came from it?
Prayer: My times are in your hands, o Lord. Help me to always trust that with my plans in your hands, you always love and care for me and execute your plans to give me hope and a future. AMEN.