How can we be so certain God’s plans for us are good? We are bombarded at every turn with bad news: super-storms, flooding, severe drought, earthquakes, shootings, bombings, global economic crises, greater government control, diminishing religious freedoms, terrorism, and the list continues. With all the chaos and upheavals in life, when it seems everything is going wrong and with our dwindling faith for any change, one may doubt how God’s plans are to prosper us, where the future and hope is.
If God’s plans were to harm us, why would Jesus have bothered to come? Why would he have endured such agony and suffering to save us? Why would he send the Holy Spirit to be our comforter, teacher and guide? If God’s plans had not been for good, then why give us a manual (Bible) full of instructions by which we may obtain good in our lives; a book that tells of times to come so we could be prepared. One which is full of examples showing how he provided and was there for generations of old – in order to encourage us; to show that God is still in control of the world despite the seeming disarray of it; to let us know he doesn’t change, that he is still here for us today and will be there tomorrow.
Then consider the numerous gifts and promises we have been given, one of which is peace. Not just any peace, or peace we have when life is going well, but the peace of Jesus, the peace that sustained him in the midst of storms and trials; that very same peace he gives to us (John 14:27).
Isaiah 32:17 “the fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” When we have confidence in our Lord and Savior, our hearts can be at peace despite the storms, difficulties, challenges and uncertain times. Our confidence, faith and peace increase as we come to intimately know God and not just know about him.
The more we focus on problems in this world the easier it becomes to forget God’s care, love, dependability and provision. When our minds dwell on whatever is pure, lovely, and of good report, and then look to the Problem Solver, we can find joy even in the most difficult times, even as Habakkuk did and was able to declare, ”yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength;”
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” Jeremiah 29:11. How can we be so certain God’s plans for us are good – how can we not? God’s plans to prosper us may not look like we think they should; may we have eyes to see as he does!