GOD HAS A PLAN
In the midst of the storms of life, it is difficult to remember that God always has a plan. God’s intellect is beyond our understanding. For example, He knows what we had for breakfast (or what we are goin to eat) on our fortieth birthday. It is the application of this idea that is empowering. If we jettison our plans in favor of His, the incredible occurs.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6-7)
When problems will not abate, we are tempted to abandon God’s plan for something seems more reasonable. These decisions are often made from fear. Ironically, they can be the worst choices of our lives. The chaos may momentarily be avoided, but the long term repercussions are significant.
If God understands everything, then He must know how powerful fear is in our lives. Further, if He knows that we are going to fail when tempted, why does He allow the storm at all? Just as a child in first grade cannot possibly pass an analytical geometry class, it seems unreasonable to ask us to overcome something so innate.
Thoughts such as these are spiritually crippling. Do we really believe that God is cruel, foolish, or unloving? Will He destroy us because He is careless? Would He allow something horrible into our lives knowing that we could not possibly taste victory through it?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that either death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)
Nothing rattled Paul’s faith in the goodness of God. Even when he was imprisoned he never wavered. He emerged a better man from each of the storms that he faced. What may have seemed like madness to others, spiritually strengthened this apostle. This was all part of God’s perfect plan.
Today, Paul is in the loving presence of Jesus. He is enjoying the best comfort. Further, he is cheering for us as we discover our faith through the trials of life. Throughout eternity this saint will be highly honored for his incredible, unshakable, powerful, and transforming trust in God. Considering Paul’s example, how will we be remembered?