ODJ: not what we planned

June 1, 2015 

READ: Isaiah 55:6-9 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (v.8).

In 1915, Dr. Frank Laubach’s church commissioned him to serve as a missionary in Manila, Philippines, and as a professor at Union Theological Bible College (Manila). When he and another man were being considered for the office of the Bible College president, a vote was held to determine which candidate would win. Dr. Laubach did what he thought honourable; he voted for his opponent. Consequently he lost the election by one vote—his own. He became disappointed, depressed and even questioned God. Yet God used that incident to redirect his life. Eventually Dr. Laubach developed a literacy programme that taught an estimated 60 million people to read.

Sometimes our good plans for our lives and for God’s kingdom don’t come to pass. They don’t turn out to be His perfect plans (Isaiah 55:8). It’s easy to become discouraged and depressed in our disappointment, and we can even become angry with God.

We shouldn’t try to deny our feelings. Like the psalmists, we’re free to be honest with God—to lament and to rage if needed. Let’s face it—pruning can be painful.

Still, by the work of Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit, God reveals that He’s for us. He desires that all of His children flourish. He’s the God of hope who always seeks our best—providing what it means for us to truly flourish even when we can’t see it (v.9).

Our Father is far more generous than we can ever imagine. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Do we believe this is true? It makes all the difference in the world. For as we trust in God, we find that His plans are always best.

—Marlena Graves

365-day-plan: Daniel 5:1-30

Read Romans 8:31 and consider what it says about why we should always trust in God’s perfect plans. 
What do you really believe about God’s plans for you? How can you lay your plans before Him and submit to His ways today?