Trusting God’s Plan

“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).

The first time I went to Disneyland was when I was a little boy. We lived in Cupertino, CA., in the bay area. My mom and dad told us we were going to Disneyland and I couldn’t wait. I wanted to go to Disneyland right now!!!

What I did not count on was an eight hour drive to get to Los Angeles. I wanted Disneyland. What was this drive through nothingness? This wasn’t Disneyland!!! This wasn’t fun!!! This wasn’t what I was promised!!!

The verse of the day is one of the most hopeful and comforting promises in all of scripture.

God has a plan. God’s plan is good. God’s plan is best.

Who wouldn’t want that?

God declares he has a plan and it is good. That’s a fact.

Notice, God never asks us to fully understand his plans. He merely asks us to trust his plan – to trust that his plan is for the best.

You see, there are times when life won’t feel hopeful and peaceful. There will be times when life is hard and painful. And in those times we are going to wonder, “Hey God…what about that plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future thing? What happened to that?”

And it is precisely in those hard times, the painful times, that we will have to continue to trust and stay obedient. What we don’t realize is that growth, maturity, security, health, peace are often the result of having worked through the difficulties, not the avoidance and the absence of hardship.

If we want health we have to diet and exercise.

If we want knowledge and wisdom we have to invest in study and learning.

If we want peace and security we have to go to war against all that destroys and threatens peace and security.

God’s promises for growth, health, well-being is the result of having worked through the difficulties.

Stay the course. God never asks that we fully understand and comprehend his plans. God merely asks that we trust his plans.

Trust and obey. There really is no better way.

Cmon! Really?!?!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2).

Cmon! Really?!?!

Consider it pure joy when we face trials, hurts, disappointments, failures, betrayals?

Cmon! Really?!?!

Notice God is not asking us to feel pure joy when we face trials, hurts, disappointments, failures, or betrayals. That is impossible.

God is asking us to consider it as pure joy. God is asking us to take a different perspective about sufferings and trials. You see, for us, we automatically put pain and hurt in the category of things to be avoided. We don’t like pain, suffering, and trials. In fact, most of us go out of our way to avoid pain, suffering, and trials.

But, when we do, we miss out. Because, you see, not all pain is bad. In fact there is a pain that is actually good.

There are two types of pains:

  • Ones that hurt you
  • Ones that grow you

In fact, there are times when growth, maturity, and change only comes at the other end of pain.

God is far more interested in our growth and maturity than he is in our comfort.

Are you facing trials, hurts, disappointments, failures, betrayals? God is at work to grow you and to make you more mature.

Therefore, consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds.

Practice the Pause

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20).

Good and Godly decisions are rarely made when we are angry, stressed, and hurt. When we are angry, stressed, or hurt, the brain goes into fight or flight mode.

In a stressed out condition, the creative area of our brain that is able to seek helpful solutions shuts down. In anger and stress, we either lash out or bolt. Neither of these are helpful. Relationships are destroyed, churches split, marriages break when we lash out or bolt.

God knows we will all deal with stressful situations. God knows things will happen that will royally tick us off. God knows people will say things that will hurt us.

So, God tells us:

  • Be quick to listen
  • Be slow to speak
  • Be slow to anger

Take a deep breath. Take a pause. Don’t react and respond in anger, stress, and hurt. You will only do more damage.

Pause. Pray. Seek God’s righteousness.

I came across something that Toby Mac, a Christian musician, wrote called “Practice the Pause” that is helpful.

Practice the Pause

  • When in doubt, pause
  • When angry, pause
  • When tired, pause
  • When stressed, pause
  • And when you pause, pray

That’s fantastic advice.

Practice the pause. Go to God in prayer. Seek God’s purposes and God’s righteousness.