Whose Plan?

Whose Plan?

 
The major themes of the Scripture are, according to Paul David Tripp, the Glory of God, the Greatness of God and the Grace of God.
 
He goes on to say that personal ministry is “embedding people’s personal stories in the larger story of redemption, so they approach every situation and relationship with a ‘God’s story’ mentality.”
 
In God’s overall and personal plans, He calls us to a partnership with Himself, giving us significant roles and responsibilities. He prepares situations for us, then waits for us to obey His directions, given primarily in His Word. If we willingly choose to obey, our foot can still slip and suffer difficulty, but as we continue walking in obedience, we are lifted up again and again by His love and power.
 
Joseph in the Old Testament is an example of this. Without understanding all that was happening, he joined God in the diffculties that came to him. Then, later In his life he understood some of what God had been doing in allowing/sending all the suffering of his early years. He said to his brothers concerning their having sold him into slavery, “You meant it to me for evil, but God meant it for good, to the saving of many people” (Gen. 50:20).
 
Joseph was thinking about his having saved his extended family, all the Egyptians and people in surrounding countries from starvation. That was true. However, this it was only a part of what God was actually doing. Through Joseph, God preserved the line of Judah from whence came the Messiah.
 
So Joseph was one of the many people prepared by suffering, who played a part in God’s plan to bring about the eternal salvation He offers to all. God was doing something immeasurably huge when he sent Joseph to Egypt as a slave! [This insight is from a lecture by Fran Sciacca of Hands of Hur Ministries.]
 
So what is God doing in our lives with the difficulties He brings/allows for us? Are we, through worship, looking at God’s glory daily, and thereby getting glimpses of the great things He’s doing? Are we grasping that our disappointments, hurts and sufferings are all being used by Him in the big picture in significant ways we can’t understand, and therefore praising Him for these problems? Are we fitting our story into His?
 
As an application of this, a doctor comments that getting “over an illness should not be the primary goal” for a Christian. “What glorifies [God] is what is best for all believers; therefore what glorifies Him will be the best for the sick believer. Getting well is not necessarily the best thing…
 
“The hope for the believer is victory, not relief. Relief is not inherently wrong, but it becomes wrong when it is the primary goal [an idol]. God promises victory in illnesses and trials, not deliverance from them.” (Dr. Robert Smith, The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference [Stanley, NC: Timeless Texts, 2004]). The real goal is God’s glory!
 
Prayer: “Lord, I confess that my glory has been my goal, not yours. Forgive me for pursuing personal comfort as my goal and idol instead of your glory. Help me today to join you and live instead with the desire to bring you glory and honor through my motives, thoughts, words and actions. Help me to trust you to carry me along in your great plan to end history, eliminate evil and bring in the new Heaven and Earth. Amen.”
Picture: Indonesian believer, badly burned in a terrorist attack on her church, and lost two sons also. Now when she is asked what happened, she uses her scars as a means of sharing the gospel, joining God in His great plan.
Picture: Indonesian believer, badly burned in a terrorist attack on her church, and lost two sons also. Now when she is asked what happened, she uses her scars as a means of sharing the gospel, joining God in His great plan.
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