Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Two men were riding a bicycle built for two when they came to a steep hill. It took a great deal of struggle for the men to complete what proved to be a very steep climb.
When they got to the top the man in front said to the other, Man, that was a hard climb! The guy in back said, Yes it was. And if I hadn’t kept the brakes on all the way we would have rolled down backwards.
Our plans sometimes do not work out the way we want—that’s why we need God’s help each day. The Living Bible has this word from Psalm 138:8: “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever”. A remarkable verse. Written by David from the Old Testament—God had a plan for David, even in the midst of intense struggle and hardship.
God wanted David to be King of Israel, and govern them as God wanted him too. But after David was anointed as King, by the prophet Samuel, he experienced hardship. He faced Goliath and won. Saul was jealous and wanted David killed, so David was running from this man and his army. After God had delivered David from Saul, he ruled well until he committed sin with Bathsheba and had her husband Uriah killed in battle. As a result of this, their son died.
David’s last years as King see a three-year famine, war with the Philistines—he had many ups and downs. David’s life had blessing, but also struggle and hardship as we see in his life. But here we have David say in Psalm 138:8:
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me, your love, O Lord, endures forever, do not abandon the works of your hands.
The text doesn’t say, The Lord will work out my plans for my life, or The Lord will work out the plans I want for my life. It says, “The Lord will work out his plans for my life.”
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God’s plans for good
If we take that verse seriously and apply it to ourselves, it means I don’t have to bear the burden of making every good thing happen in my life. God will work out his plans for me. This doesn’t mean we are to live without ambition or without any sense of direction in life. It doesn’t mean that we’re to wander aimlessly day to day waiting for God to blaze a trail for us. What it does mean is this: as we strive to live according to God’s will, we have the assurance that he is working on our behalf, behind the scenes, so to speak, pulling strings and making things happen according to his plan.
In John Grisham’s novel The Brethren, the main character is a politician named Aaron Lake. He is chosen by some powerful people in Washington to run for president. While he’s campaigning, these powerful people are working behind the scenes, orchestrating events to get him elected because he serves their purpose.
There’s a comparison here. You are not alone in charting the course for your life. Someone much more powerful than you—God himself—has a plan for your life. His plans for you can only be described as good, as he says in Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT), “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.
God has a great plan for you, and he is committed to making that plan become a reality. In order for him to do that, you must do your part. You must keep yourself yielded to him, through his Son Jesus Christ, so that he can continue to direct your life.