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In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
~2 Peter 2:3 NIV~
It’s amazing how people can look at surface of something and decide without questioning or learning more about the situation that there is no room for forgiveness or mercy. In this world that is so full of brokenness, it is inevitable that at some point in our lives we may do something that isn’t right. In some cases, we may completely screw up our lives and the lives of everyone around us. But the healing power of Christ says that change is possible. That broken vessels can be made new and that those who have been through trials can rise from those ashes even stronger and in many cases well-armed and well-suited for ministry that will glorify the Most High God. When we can’t see that or when we refuse to acknowledge this kind of change, it probably means that we have not yet developed the capacity to deal with our own problems and faults and possibly, that we blame God for not fixing things for us.
Even after all this time, I’m still amazed that the very people who are the most hateful, bitter, angry, and hurtful to others will hang on to their condemnation of others for dear life as though it somehow justifies their being unforgiving and destructive. Tearing down someone who has allowed God to heal them or who is trying to receive that grace only makes you look like a jerk. And it is the most effective way to show that the biggest problem lies in you. Not only are you hurting others, you are basically telling God that you don’t believe He is who He says He is or that He can do what He says He will do. When we fail to acknowledge God’s work in those around us, we fail to believe that He can do a good work in us. And if we can’t believe that, we can’t say that we have faith in God at all. You can’t half-believe in His power…you have to know that He is the Almighty God and that His power will triumph over anything that stands to harm you. And you can’t just call on Him when you need His stamp of approval on what you’ve already done. Even if it seems like what you’re doing is right, if you didn’t trust Him or you went against what He told you, then you haven’t done the right thing. And it will eventually show.
When I am going through a trial, as it seems I often am, the hardest thing for me to do is to trust in Him completely and without trying to do things on my own. I know that He has a plan for me, and I have faith in His ability to fix what is broken. That doesn’t make it any easier to watch things fall apart. But, the hope that all will be made right and the knowledge that if He has brought me to it, He’ll bring me through it are what sustain me. When I feel like the whole world is against me, I know that I can look to God for guidance and that He will bring me rest. His words will show me where I need to be and what I need to do. And though an army may encamp against me, I am confident that God is on my side.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devourme, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
~Psalm 27:1-3 NIV~