God has peace-filled plans for a hope-filled future.
My words today continue from yesterday’s post.
I almost didn’t share that piece of my story. I was tempted to skim over the truth that our church attendance yesterday was only the third time in eighteen months.
This reality is something others may judge or criticize. I mean really, how can one be a Christian without going to church?? I care to avoid such negativity against myself and family. But I’m guessing we aren’t the only ones who have walked through this kind of pain, so if my words can encourage another, you better believe I’m going to share them.
So there it is, and here we are.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that.” Jeremiah 29:11
Our pastor yesterday shared her story of how God brought her “home,” centering it on the above scripture. Bringing her back, God orchestrated circumstances and confirmed her calling. (I’m thankful she’s home!)
I couldn’t help but think of my own situation.
I was laid off Friday. A job and program I loved ended. So, here I am today, at home. With no job leads. No direction. Nothing in the works. That, in today’s world, doesn’t make logical sense.
I was reminded through my pastor’s story… God has a plan. A plan for my life.
His plans are for peace, not evil, to give me a future and hope.
I don’t know what these plans are yet, but if He can orchestrate moving my pastor back from warm, sunny Florida, He can bring about His plans for me, too. This excites me!
I was also reminded God hasn’t forgotten me.
He hasn’t forgotten the desires of our hearts.
I’ve proven one can be a Christian without attending church. But there’s something about being with others who share the same faith, worshiping God together.
This mother’s heart about leaped out of my chest as I soaked in the moment of all four of us, standing and singing in worship, just like we used to. And to top it off, my daughter’s boyfriend was with us. “Yes, Lord. Yes!” I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve prayed for God to draw our family to Him, together. “Thank you, God, for this gift of us worshiping together. I’ve desired this for so long.”
Just when I thought we’d never belong in a place of worship again, God showed me differently. We won’t have to worship Him on our own forever, like I once believed. I can’t say He’s calling us to attend that particular church, but I can say we felt like we “belonged.”
So, where do we go from here? Honestly, I have no idea, and right now, I’m okay with that.
But what I do know, is God is going to show me when He’s ready for me to know. Regarding a job and regarding a church. And regarding everything else He has planned for me.
Friend, He’s going to do the same for you.
His plans are for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope.
Even when we can’t see it. Even when nothing makes sense. Even when the odds appear to be stacked against us. Even when we doubt He has a plan and we feel we’re just here taking up space.
He put it in writing. It’s in black and white. It’s a for-sure thing.
And notice the last three words of Jeremiah 29:11 in The Voice translation… never forget that.
He wants us to remember. He wants us to cling to this truth.
Friend, may we live in expectation of watching God carry out His peace-filled plans for our lives. May we trust Him in the waiting, and keep our hearts turned towards Him. Resting in Him. Believing Him. Worshiping Him. Loving Him. Walking with Him.
At the right time, He’ll show us.
And if you’ve been on the receiving end of any sort of religious abuse, I pray especially for you today. I pray God begins to heal your hurt and your heart. It’s not something you can rush through, but from experience, I’m finding there’s hope in walking through it. Allow God to restore you gently. He will, my friend. He will.
I’m with you on this journey. And so is He.
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