In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:11-12 NIV
During a troubling time, one of our daughters wrote, “A month ago, my world was being turned upside down. I was in a place of fear, hurt and anxiety. I wanted to trust Jesus, but it’s easier said than done.”
I’ve been there . . . what am I saying . . . I am there. We know Jesus is worthy of our trust and we want to yield . . . but, being willing to take those steps of surrender . . . that’s tough. But, that’s where our faith overtakes fear, our hope heals hurt, and our abandonment to Him replaces anxiety.
The apostle Paul reminds us that one of the reasons we have a confidence and conviction in Jesus is because we have been chosen in Him.
His Plan. God’s plan for my life or my understanding of His unique plan has really changed over the years. The psalmist writes, “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders You have done, the things You planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” (Ps 40:5 NIV). God’s plan illustrates the grace, growth and giftedness that He gives each of us. The prophet Jeremiah reminds exiled Israel of God’s strategy, even in the middle of their suffering. He writes, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11 ESV). His plan is based on His wisdom, His understanding and His insight.
His Purpose. Paul reminds us that God’s plan fulfills His purpose, “according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.” (Eph 1:11). We often equate success with being in the center of God’s will and fulfilling His purpose for our lives. Rick Warren writes, “Being successful and fulfilling your life’s purpose are not at all the same thing; You can reach all your personal goals, become a raving success by the worlds standard and still miss your purpose in this life.” Paul shared his perspective on God’s purpose, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” (Phil 3:7-9 NLT). Bottom line . . . God wants us to know Him and to make Him known.
His Praise. It’s all about His praise. God’s glory is the goal. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16 ESV). When we give into God’s grace, He gets the glory. His plan and purpose is about everything. Paul reminds the Christ-followers in Corinth, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31 ESV)
Our daughter finished her thoughts, “Today, I can honestly say without reserve that I serve a faithful God (something I’ve always believed in my head but my heart sometimes lacked).”
His plan and His purpose . . . all for His praise. Our renewed hope comes when the perception in our head moves to the practice of our heart.