For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. (NLT)
We inevitably make our own plans. We have our own ideas of what we want to achieve. If we belong to God, we hope and trust those plans are consistent with his own. But let’s face it, we often make our own arrangements and hope God smiles on them.
Paul reminds us that God has a far greater purpose in mind for us. All our arrangements and hopes and dreams are to fit into that. The great purpose is that we become more and more like Jesus who is the demonstration of perfect humanity. To become like Jesus is to become the people God made us to be.
We can lose sight of this overarching plan by getting so immersed in the everyday advances and setbacks we experience. Things go well and we are pleased. Things go badly and we are displeased. All very human. But God invites us to consider the bigger picture. All that happens is meant to bring us more and more to our true destiny. So, what we see as a setback may really be an advance, and what we see as good news might be a snare for us.
We usually just see the details: God sees the bigger picture. We usually focus on our immediate happiness or unhappiness: God grasps the grand design.