15 February 2014
I was reminded of two verses this morning:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
“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.” Jeremiah 29:11.
i am careful not to just cherry pick and choose the verses in the bible that give encouraging messages but when i look into my own life, i do realise these verses hold true and faithful. The verses don’t promise a painless life without difficulties or hardships, rather i think, these verses were written in the midst of them, recognizing that these are the words of God spoken to His beloved because He knows they will need to hear it.
Not only does God tells us to present our petitions and requests to Him so that He can guard our hearts and minds in Christ, but God also tells us why we can rejoice further because He has promised only good for us. Even if we cannot see it just yet.
But there is a “catch” to these promises of God. The verse in Jeremiah was written to the exiled Israel in Babylon and top and bottom of the chapter reveal misery of a life without putting God first. Exiled Israel had put other things, other gods before God and had not listened to Him. The verse in Romans says that it is “for those who love God”. And Jesus said, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments”.
Although we who are in Christ no longer live under law like Old Testament times and it is not from fear that our motivation to cling to God should come. I am reminded that God’s will for us, to prosper us and give us a hope and a future, can only be received if we are willing to be obedient to His guidance. God will not force His will upon me because He has chosen to give me free will, and so God cannot force goodness into my life unless i choose to be obedient to His will. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”.
Father, thank you for reminding me that your will is always in my best interest and beyond every cloud, there is a silver lining, there is a rainbow waiting for me. Thank you for your discipline, for you discipline those you love, in order that I may share in your holiness and share in the goodness you had planned for me before i was born.