Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hope for Troubled Hearts - Martin Wiles

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

When overcome by doubt, trust God’s heart and power.

I suppose every teacher worries about their students’ future. Some are very conscientious, organized, and appear to have their lives mapped out. Others seem to think school is unimportant. They skip homework assignments and take the zero seemingly without thought. Or fail to study for tests, taking a C—or even a failing grade—when they’re capable of much better. Recently, I stumbled across a few of these students—my previous students—on a social media site. I was surprised and pleased to discover what they’d made of themselves. Mothers, fathers, spouses, business owners. God had plans, and he knew their future better than I. 

Though they had suffered through seventy years of brutal captivity, God’s people would soon experience his plan for them: deliverance. God used the prophet Jeremiah to share his plan. All they had to do was believe his message and act on it when the time was right. 

God doesn’t create with no purpose. Rather, he forms and brings into existence individuals for whom he has a plan. Believing God has a plan for my life changes my perspective and gives me hope. If I choose to go my own way in life, I’ll miss his plan and his best. 

God’s plan includes joy, but also hardship. Deliverance was enticing, but the road back to Jerusalem and the ensuing hardships of rebuilding the city and the temple were difficult. God doesn’t promise a bed of roses produced free of thorns, but among the prickles beautiful blooms emerge. 

God probably won’t show me what I don’t ask to see, so discovering his plan is my responsibility. The strength to follow it, however, comes from him. When I follow his purpose, the results will shock me—just as the present lives of my past students do me. 

When life seems hopeless, find hope in God’s plans. 

Prayer:  Father God, we ask that You reveal Your plans and give us courage and strength to pursue and realize them. 


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