God knows, God plans

wordswag_1556624596196.jpg

I recently listened to a preacher declare to his congregation – “Everything in your life, the good, the bad, the hurtful, when others do wrong to you … comes straight from the hand of God so accept it as part of His plan.” That is not true! There is a huge difference between what God wills for us in His perfect loving plan and what God allows. He is not the Author of sin or evil, ever.

Human beings are free to choose to seek and follow Him, or to reject and rebel.  When we reject Him, our choices are sinful and the inevitable result is suffering – for us, for others. But, there is an assurance that keeps us at peace even when we suffer because of the sinful world in which we live. Nothing surprises the Lord and “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)

The story of Joseph reveals God’s amazing ability to work through sinful people and circumstances; that knowing all things, He is able to weave together the threads of life to accomplish His plan for those who love Him.  As a young man, Joseph’s heart was sensitive to the Spirit. His father unwisely showed favoritism and the older brothers jealously hated the boy. God, knowing the awful road of suffering ahead for him, prepared him with two prophetic dreams.  He shared those dreams with his family stoking the fires of resentment.  They are recorded in Genesis 37.  The brothers sheaves of grain bowed down to Joseph’s; and the sun, moon, and stars gave honor to him. His brothers, in hateful resentment, first plot to kill him and then, when presented with an opportunity, sold him to traders headed for Egypt.

While God did not orchestrate their sin, He knew their hearts, knew the choices they would make, and He prepared grace for Joseph in the middle of it all!  Stored in Joseph’s mind is the dream that will sustain him through the next 2 decades of unbelievable difficulties.

My friend, finding the peace of God does not require that we make Him a monster that deals in evil and suffering. We need not become fatalists that resign to His supposedly terrible dealings with us. Indeed, James reminds us that God is good! “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer. So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.” (James 1:13-17, The Message)

Rest in this: nothing that happens to you today is a surprise to the all-knowing Father and He has already prepared grace for you to meet the challenge.

Jeremiah reminded the children of God, when they were suffering the results of their rebellion in captivity in Babylon that God was at work for their restoration. “This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:10-12, NIV)

Are you in a time when your heart is broken by the sin of another?
Are the circumstances of the day marked by disappointment or difficulties?
Do you find yourself hemmed in by choices made by others that seem to have no good end?

Don’t blame God! He did not do this to you.  Yes, He is God and He allowed it. We can never deny His power and His mastery of all things. But, sin is a destroyer of what is good, what is precious, what is blessed. In that He is a Restorer of those who turn to Him.  He frees us from slavery to sin and enables us to live in His kingdom. He works through us to accomplish His will and to bring honor to His Name. So, trust His saving grace through it all.

Many years after those brothers sold Joseph, they were standing before him in Pharaoh’s court, bowing down, just as God had revealed. Joseph, full of grace and forgiveness, declares this faithful statement. Make it your word from the Word today and be strengthened to stand. “But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.” (Genesis 50:19-20, NLT)  Amen!

_____________

Good, Good Father  (listen, learn, and worship at this link)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

 You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are\
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

 I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word 

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us 

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

 You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am
It’s who I am
It’s who I am

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s