Monday, August 21, 2006

A Commentary (Jeremiah 29:11)

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."

This scripture was given to me late one night as a call back to women's ministry. It was given to me again in a new way recently. This time I am seeing things from a new perspective (not that the old one was incorrect).

God has plans for me! He has plans for every one of us. I once heard someone say on a radio broadcast, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!" It was enough to make me laugh out loud.

It's true. Neither our plans nor our ways are like His (see Isaiah 55:8,9). So, often we think we have Him all figured out, only to find how much more we have to learn.

God's plans are so beyond anything we can ever imagine. He only asks that we give Him theBill Gates controls and trust Him with the outcome. He does not plan to harm us, nor does He promise that the journey will be quick, easy, or painless. Often the journey takes us through deserts, valleys, and rocky climbs to the peaks of mountains that reveal His purpose when we look back over the valleys. Often we fall and get injured along the way. But, the victory is in reaching that mountain only to see how clear, beautiful and fertile the valleys are.

So many health/wealth/prosperity preachers teach that God doesn't want us to suffer, experience poverty, or to fail at anything. God does allow harm to come in the process of refining us to reflect Him (see Zechariah 13:9). Yes, God does work everything good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But, sometimes the "good" can not come without experiencing the "bad". Trials are part of the path that leads to victory. Trials give us strength for our journey. God does not plan to harm us, but aMother Theresa fallen world often brings harm that He allows for His purpose to be fulfilled in us. Ultimately it brings us to Him and He is glorified. Many times when we experience harm, we have brought it on ourselves by making and going through with our own plans instead of seeking God's will. So, then it is our plans that bring us harm and not His.

Prosperity, I have learned is not in health/wealth and status. Prosperity for me, is in finding contentment in the midst of all circumstances knowing God is Lord over them all. I believe that people like Mother Teresa are more prosperous than Bill Gates could ever imagine. Prosperity in human terms is a far cry from prosperity in God's terms. If we all understood God's definition of prosperity, the world would be very different place than it is as we know it. I have found the most prosperous times in my life to be times of poverty, and realizing how small I am and how little I know. It is in these times that I experience the hope I have in an a sovereign, omniscient, holy, loving, merciful God and the future He has for me in eternity.

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