For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (NKJV)
I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for (GNT)
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. (NIV)
How did your task go yesterday? Were you able to keep track of the small glories that God produced in your life? Did you rejoice, pray, and thank Him? I know that it helped me so much to feel the presence of God in my life at every single moment of my day. This is something that takes time and takes work. It is not easy, but it does get easier as you practice. I like continuing to use the notebook, as it helps me to remember what I am supposed to be looking out for. It also helps me to be in a better mood. When something negative happens I can take that split second and say, but what good has come or what worse did not come. I wonderful exercise for those of us who are known to begin spiraling down the rabbit hole when one thing goes wrong.
Today's verse follows the same trend from the rest of this week. There is an old Yiddish proverb that roughly translates to "When man plans, God laughs". I find this proverb both funny and self-fulfilling at the same time. God knows our future. God knows where He needs us and when He needs us there. It is all a part of His global and universal plan. That does not mean we are called to sit on the couch and eat potato chips, though that does seem appealing some days. It means that we need to listen to God's plan and calling. This is hard. It does not come easily for most people, but we needn't fear. God has His ways of getting us to exactly where He wants us to be.
How do we know if what we are doing is pleasing to God and following His plan? There are a couple tests that you can play out, though the final answer may not be revealed until the moment when you see Jesus face to face in this world or the next. One test is that God will never contradict His own word. Therefor, if you believe that your task or path is one that contradicts the Bible, it is not from the Lord. The next test is in relation to today's verse. The Lord's plan for you will lead you to eventual prosperity and hope. This does not mean that there will not be heart ache or pain along the way; however, the Lord does not wish for us to be in disaster and mayhem long term. Storms and tribulation are used for the eventual good; however, that is exactly that point, the eventual good!
So, we needn't worry about our futures. As children of God we can be assured in our salvation and eventual resting place with the Lord God. I will be straight with you though, your eventual good may not be on this earth and in this world. God wants that you should have joy and prosperity and hope; however, these are all feelings that will be 100% achieved in God's kingdom. It would be wonderful for them to be achieved on this earth as well, but do not disparage God when you find that this world does not hold that exact opportunity.
Today let's work to look toward the future with hope. Let's look forward and tell God that we are excited for the next steps that He brings to us in this world and that we are hopeful for the wonderful gifts that we will receive in the next.