Thursday, February 5, 2015

He Has a Plan for Us

     Singing in the choir has given me the opportunity to retain the words to hymns and remember Scripture better than any other exercise.  All week long, now, I have been hearing the music and thinking about the words to the anthem "If You Search with All Your Heart" written by Craig Courtney.  Not only is the melody lovely, but the words come from Scripture found in Jeremiah 29:11-13.  God's Word contains rich and full promises to His children.  These words offer encouragement and blessing.
     Jeremiah 29:11-13 reads:  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you.  You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart."  While this passage is specifically tied to Israel who is facing 70 years of captivity, we can glean hope for our own lives as well.  God does not want His people to think He will forget them.  He is working all things together for their good and His glory.  I am certain it does not seem like this is true as they faced exile.  However God did bring them back to their land as He said He would. 
     In the same way when we face difficulties in this life such as an unexpected illness, a loss of a job, not enough money to live on, or a family dispute, we can feel alienated from God and alone.  However, just as with the Children of Israel, God is working behind the scenes that we might grow as 
we face hardships.  This is why it is so critical to read the Bible on a regular, daily basis.
     As we open God's Word, we can see His faithfulness and character more clearly.  He has pulled aside the curtain, as it were, so that we can see what happened in the lives of those who have gone before us.  We see their weaknesses and strengths but most importantly, we see how God works all things together that they may reach maturity in faith. He is doing the same thing for each one of us too.  We may not see the results immediately, but we can be certain that He is at work in all areas of our lives.  His plan for us is perfect, cannot be thwarted by any power or sidetracked.  Even more, God wants to give us a future and a hope.  This is precisely why Jesus came to earth.  He is our HOPE and our future!
     Furthermore, this verse makes clear that if we are searching for God with all our heart we will find Him.  Prayer is the key to finding God and remaining in communication with Him throughout our busy days.  There are times when words do not come to us as we pray.  At moments like this, we can speak God's Word back to Him.  I used to do this with the Psalms, and it left me with a peaceful heart.
     Not only should we read the Word and pray daily, but we should also teach our children and grandchildren to do the same.  We can never start too early with them either.   Helping them see God's plans for them unfold in His Word will give them confidence to move forward in boldness when difficulties come.
     Like the Children of Israel, we serve a covenant God who is faithful to all His promises and nothing or no one can ever separate us from His love.  He will not hide from us but can easily be found in the pages of His holy Word.  Today, do not let despair overcome you.  Instead, read His Word, pray His Word and chew upon it all day long.  You will be satisfied and blessed knowing that He has a future and a hope for you in Christ.  Selah!

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