June 25, 2022

Does God Actually Have a Great Plan for My Life?

Editor’s Word: This piece was initially printed in 2015.

In elementary college, somebody gave me a kind of wallet-sized prayer playing cards made out of cardstock. It was pink and purple, with an lovely cartoon butterfly and massive chunky letters boldly proclaiming, “God has an exquisite plan on your life!” Like every good 9-year-old, I hung the butterfly card on my wall and soaked in that fact every single day for a very long time.

Individuals speak so much about this glorious plan that God has for us. In spite of everything, He has “plans for welfare…to offer you a future and a hope,” proper? (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). And “for individuals who love God, all issues work collectively for good” (Romans 8:28). Plus, “no good factor will He withhold” (Psalm 84:11). To high it off, He’s our heavenly Father, infinitely extra loving and excellent and clever than the most effective earthly father — He’ll give us fish and never a snake, bread and never rocks (Luke 11:11-13).

However this “great life” positive doesn’t look so great for the function fashions God provides us in His Phrase. For instance, the disciples, who had been mainly all martyred. Or Mary, who cherished God with all her coronary heart and ended up shunned as a pregnant teenager. Or David, whose Psalms clearly present that although we keep in mind him as a profitable man of God, he was within the dredges. So much. Let’s not even begin with Job.

Earlier than I can start to assume that these are exceptions (as a result of, in spite of everything, anybody who has been made into flannel graph is a bit of laborious to narrate to) I can’t assist however discover an identical sample a lot nearer to dwelling. For instance, there’s Adoniram and Ann Judson, a particularly godly couple who served as America’s first international missionaries, commissioned to Burma in 1812. From the world’s perspective, they lived a fairly wretched existence, involving all the things from years in navy jail to hunger, burying a number of youngsters, and ultimately the deaths of Ann, then Adoniram’s second spouse, and at last Adoniram himself. Change the names, dates and nation, and also you get a fairly good image of a number of trustworthy missionaries.

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God is a loving Father. That’s completely, 100 % non-negotiable. Clearly, the Scriptures talked about earlier are true (though, context is vital for a few them — Jeremiah 29:11 is speaking particularly in regards to the nation of Israel whereas in Babylonian exile, which, nicely, isn’t me). So, that implies that we’re left with two info: (1) God loves me and has an exquisite plan for my life and (2) The entire “great” factor doesn’t appear to have labored out for lots of people who believed that.

I believe the difficulty is that I’ve been given the improper definition of “great.” It doesn’t imply what I believe is finest for me. In some instances, it doesn’t even imply what is finest for me, in an earthly sense.

Was it actually “finest” for Paul to surrender his livelihood and status to ultimately get thrown in jail and killed? Or was it “finest” for Mary Livingston to return to Africa together with her husband, David, the place she died at age 41 of tropical illnesses? Truthfully, no. Not if you’re making an attempt to think about this “great plan” from an earthly perspective.

I desire a great life, however that isn’t about me. It’s in regards to the kingdom of God. A “great life” is one by which we serve passionately, fiercely and to our closing breath, finishing the duties we’ve been put right here to do. God completely will maintain me. He guarantees that (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:25-34). It simply may not appear like what the world expects. An superior partner, lovely youngsters, and a 9-5 that pays the payments with lots to spare isn’t assured. Quite, God’s taking good care of me means His enabling me to do all the things I must do for His glory. That would imply getting thrown right into a scenario the place all of earthly life, from funds and well being to relationships and feelings, is tottering on the sting every single day, however His identify is being proclaimed.

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“Great” shouldn’t be what’s finest for my consolation, however what’s finest for His kingdom. We exist for the only function of bringing glory to God. If we’re following His lead and doing that, we live an exquisite life.

I’m praying that this modifications the best way I take into consideration my future. I must give up asking myself issues like, “What can be finest for my profession?” or “What would make me happiest?” I’m dwelling for one thing larger than that. The butterfly card wasn’t improper: His plan for me is great, however He has a definition of “great” that lasts without end.

Emma Beecken lives in St. Paul, Minn., the place she is learning schooling and historical past due to her love of young children and outdated books.

Copyright 2015 Emma Becken. All rights reserved. Used with permission.