God’s good plan for your future

this is what the lord says: “when seventy years are completed for babylon, i will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 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. then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and i will listen to you. you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (jeremiah 29:10-13).

do you realize that our heavenly father takes every circumstance into account as he plans your future? as a believer, your destiny has already been decided: “in my father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, i would have told you; for i go to prepare a place for you. if i go and prepare a place for you, i will come again and receive you to myself, that where i am, there you may be also” (john 14:2-3).

too often we fret about finding the father’s perfect will for our lives. to no one in scripture did god lay out a step-by-step plan for their life. hebrews 11:8 says of abraham that “he went without knowing where he was going.” no five-year, ten-year, or even a lifetime plan for him! when the magi went in search of the christ child, they did not have google maps or waze to lead them. they simply followed the star not knowing where it would lead, nevertheless certain of what they would find at the end of their journey: “where is he who has been born king of the jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him” (matthew 2:2).

even when david was anointed by samuel, the shepherd boy had no indication of the path his life would take. he knew nothing of a meeting with the giant of gath, or of his headlong and even years-long rush to escape saul’s angry determination to kill him. following the good father is not akin to living a novel. there is no introduction, no intervening chapters, and no ending neatly tied with a bow. it is necessary to constantly seek his wisdom, and converse with him through prayer, giving god the time and opportunity to respond to our petitions and praise. it is developing a relationship with him through the study of his word.

walking with jehovah is not a “twelve-step” program, marching mindlessly forward with no direction. it is living in the light of his word, loving him completely, and listening to the voice of the holy spirit. there are those who would have you believe that a life of devotion to the good father involves no sacrifice and no pain. one needs only read hebrews chapter 11 to discover the fallacy in that: “others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. still, others had trials of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. they were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, and were slain with the sword. they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. they wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (hebrews 11:35b–38).

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