“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 NIV).
I prefer to work around all the preplanning and directions in most areas of my life, getting straight into a new endeavor with excitement. My husband, a consummate planner, walked me through each meticulous detail of his plan as we took on a recent remodeling project in our home. I stared at him, eyes glazed over as he reviewed the steps we needed to take to get to a finished product. All I cared about was having a beautiful renovation in the end. I imagined entertaining friends and family in our modernized, updated space. At first, I was thrilled about having a bright, fresh look for our old house. But months into it, with debris and piles of things to reorganize and throw out, I’m verging on the brink of burnout.
I can’t think of anything more potent than when God reaches out and shakes us during times of chaos, calling our name and ushering us into the space where He’s about to turn things around and do something special. Often, we find ourselves needy, seeking encouragement and hope, but where do we search? Is it from others, rather than seeking God about his desires for us? Human aspirations are inferior and lead to heartache and pain, while God’s wishes fill us with hope for the times ahead. These truths give me hope to hang on, knowing my husband has a plan, and soon, our home will be remodeled and renewed from its current condition.
Throughout the Bible, scripture tells us that God also has a plan for each of us. One verse that is on my mind is Isaiah 43:19 (NIV). It says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
The scripture contains both a forecast and a question. Something different is coming, and we should know how it affects us. What makes us sense the potential change and prepare for it rather than ignore it?
God’s question is, “Do you discern that I am preparing my people for a miraculous movement of my Spirit to spring up like fountains of water upon a dry and thirsty land?”
We live in a lonely time when governments and entities try to suppress The Truth of God, but people are thirsty for the Living Water that satisfies souls. His Spirit stirring within us achieves what is impossible for us without him. I imagine going from wandering in a barren land to being fixed on God in a fruitful sanctuary.
The verse advises us to be alert and attentive to Him, so we’ll take action when He speaks to us and reveals His plans for us to prosper. I can't help but feel excited while waiting for God's direction. How do we prepare for this? There isn’t a complicated formula we need to know.
The Lord tells us to call upon, come, and pray to him in simple terms.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you (Jeremiah 29:12 NIV). This season is hopeful because our confidence is in God in the following biblical ways:
· Confident that God freely gives knowledge to those who ask, while people perish for the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
· Confident God provides our needs according to his riches in heaven (Philippians 4:19).
· Confident that Christ gives us the strength to accomplish all he asks when we know our identity in Christ (Philippians 4:13).
· Confident, the Holy Spirit reminds us of Christ's teachings (John 14:26).
· My confidence is in God, not in myself, but changing my perspective changed everything. In Romans 12:2, Paul says it this way. Don’t conform to this world, but renew your mind. Then you will approve of what God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will is.
· I’m reserved, the opposite of bold; however, when God inspired me to be brave, I understood that boldness comes from believing I’m who he says I am. It isn’t me but faith in Christ that gives my testimony boldness.
My assurance is in God because he is righteous and holy and whether it's a faith or kitchen makeover, He designs plans for us to prosper because we're important to him!
Prayer: Lord, you give me confidence and hope for the future. Thank you for helping me to depend on your strength rather than my weakness. Please continue to prepare me for the future, according to your will. Amen
Your turn: What gives you confidence in God’s plan for your life?