Jeremiah 29:11 - 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.
God has a plan for each one of us. We are not an accident wandering around in His universe looking for somewhere to happen. Did you know God even places us in specific countries to give us a unique cultural perspective on life, which He may then use to colour the culture of another country? Acts 17:26 declares that He "has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their habitation." There are times when God has a plan for moving us beyond the nation of our birth. "A man's mind plans his way but the Lord directs his steps." When we step beyond the safety of the boundaries we have known in childhood, and find ourselves in another country, we should trust the steps we have taken. God has a plan! And He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being. We are the offspring of God! Does He not care for His own children? Does He not lie awake at night dreaming of things that will make us happy? Well, God never sleeps, but you get my point! If you being evil know how to give good things to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your heavenly Father give good things to those He loves?
Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
We don't know everything. Sometimes it is hard to figure out why something happened, or didn't happen. If we try to understand too much it will only depress us. Our lives are too complex for us to understand. The good news is that God knows us intimately, and if we will acknowledge that our lives belong to Him, He will make our paths in keeping with who He has made us to be, and where we should be in life. He will make our paths "straight" - on target and in keeping with our purpose - even if we can't see past the next bend!
Philippians 4:6 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
We can cast our cares on Him, because we know that He cares for us. If I have a problem in my life, I don't discuss it with someone I barely know, because I know nothing will come of it. They will just shrug their shoulders and walk away. What is my problem to them? But God, He listens and He cares. He shares my concern because I am His child. If I tell Him my problem it becomes His problem, because I belong to Him, problems and all. So I let Him know my concerns, and I do so joyfully and with thanksgiving, because I know in my heart the problem is taken care of as soon as I share it with Him.
Matthew 6:31-33 - Do not worry then, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?"' or "What will we wear for clothing?" For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
If you chase two rabbits, both will get away. If we seek the material things in life, we will find them elusive. But He who seeks God finds both the material goods one needs in life, and God Himself. It's as if the things we need in life are found on the pathway to the heart of God. Why stray from the path to God, being distracted looking for the very things we will naturally encounter in pursuing Him anyway?
1 John 3:20 - If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
We all make mistakes, that is what comes from trying to do something worthwhile in life. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The people who accomplish the most in life also have the most failures. Failure is proof positive we are engaged in the process of learning to be a success. But sometimes the failures are more than we can bear. We wish we never had tried, or we wish we were not the person we have become, or we wish we could wind the clock back, or ... Regret. It's a killer for sure. God forgives us, but we still have to live with our sense of failure. Our heart still condemns us. But God knows our heart, and He is greater than our heart.
Psalm 37:25 - I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.
We come boldy to the throne. We don't beg.
Psalm 16:8 - I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
In another Psalm David said, "My sin is always before me." Here we are given an alternative. There are times when our failures and inability to cope with our own weaknesses shake our confidence in ourselves and even God. But if we look to the obedience of Jesus on the cross, instead of looking to our own failures, we will feel the sting of death being removed. Through one man's obedience we were made righteous, not our own. I choose to behold the obedience of Christ, and not my own disobedience. I have set the Lord always before me, not my own failures, and I will not be shaken.
John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Peace is not simply the absence of fear. Peace is a person. He said He would never leave us. We let our hearts become troubled when we forget that He is with us.
Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
How wonderful that God should teach us in the way that He should choose, for we do not know how to pray, or how to pray as we ought. But the Holy Spirit is our teacher and knows all things. He will show us things to come. He will show us what to do. And if we get it wrong, we have the ever-seeing eye watching over us making sure we eventually get it right!
2 Timothy 1:7 - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
That's who we are. Problem is, we forget.
Prayer for Strength - go on a musical journey and find strength in God.