The Plan

4 Nov

It’s always amazed me how the tiniest concepts in Christianity make for some of the biggest revelations. During my time with YWAM, we studied numerous different concepts that greatly impacted my Christian walk, none more important than that of the character and nature of God. In keeping with my usual M.O. of nerdy overachiever, I spent some of my downtime listing some of the main characteristics of God and finding correlating Bible references. The exercise proved fruitful, and the Lord really revealed so much of Himself to me as I sat on my bunk bed, devouring scripture in search of a greater understanding of Him. As I began to understand more and more of who God is, everything I believed about life began to change. One of the biggest changes was highlighted recently when speaking with a friend about the ever controversial subject of “God’s plan.”

This particular friend has been through a lot – financial struggles, betrayal in relationships, estrangement from family, and even the loss of a loved one. Through it all, my friend remained faithful to the Lord. Now that she is coming out of her hard times and entering the land of promise, so to speak, she told me that she was thankful that the Lord gave her all of these trials to refine her and bring her to the place she is at today. Instantly, I felt my spirit reject what she was saying, and sadly I believe that a majority of the modern church lives under the same impression as my friend – that God hands out metaphorical crosses to break our spirits into submission of His will and that He actively brings sadness, trials, and difficulties our way to refine us into better people, all in the name of love, of course.

That is not the God I serve.

The God I serve is for us, never against us, and it is His greatest delight to bring us through the trials that come our way. These trials, whether they are direct attacks from the enemy, come as consequences for sin (ours or others), or are circumstantial based on us living in a fallen world, are not premeditated by our loving and gracious God. Our pain breaks His heart, but in His great wisdom and love He knows just how to use these hardships for our good. In Romans 8:28 scriptures tell us that, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose.” Your pain was never a part of His plan, but He is the great Redeemer and He makes all things (death, pain, betrayal, hardship…) work out for the good of those that love Him. He takes our garbage, and makes it a masterpiece.

So wherever you are right now, whether you are in a mountain top or a dry valley season, know that God loves you. Know that God is for you. Know that He never ever delights in the pain of His children, but rather in their redemption.

Truth changes the way we see things. Let this truth change the way you see Him.

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3 Responses to “The Plan”

  1. kaela November 5, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    thank you for your wisdom. I just stumbled across your blog about a week ago and have been so inspired through it. my good friend, michael, is in india right now serving the lord and it was really awesome to see your pictures and stories from india to get an idea of what he is seeing and possibly going through. I am daily amazed at our Fathers beauty and character. It’s a blessing to see people in love and serving Him. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

  2. La Vonne Earl November 5, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Sin is never God’s plan. He does not give a command and then encourage us to break it. He delights in our success in all areas. However our comfort and success is not more important than our character and who we become, and often times he will use us to perfect the character of another. It is in the trials that we learn the most. Most importantly the greatest pain often brings the greatest blessing. Jesus certainly did not want to die on a cross. He asked God to remove the cup from him, but he also said “not my will be done but yours lord.” We must not forget that it was God’s will that Christ died on the cross for us. “Greater love has no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”
    I think the confusion lies often in semantics along with misunderstanding.
    None of us will ever understand the mind of the lord. We simply trust him knowing he loves us. However you praise God and thank him for your trials is up to the individual so long as we stay focused on how much God loves us.

  3. Michelle Jimenez November 12, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Hi Erika! I enjoyed all your India stuff. I was just there last month, and it was good to relive it a bit. =)

    Here is a verse for you. Something to ponder and meditate on:

    “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

    Enjoy!

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