A Unique, Hopeful Plan Just for You

In my last two blog posts, I get a little more personal than normal because I really wanted you to feel that they were targeted specifically at you. I mean, all of my blog posts are written for YOU to bring glory to God and encourage you in your relationship with Him. But I really wanted you to grasp those like maybe you wouldn't another post because they were over some very important topics. In fact, they were letters. From me to you. All about God and His forgiveness and love. Because God wants you to know how deep His love and grace for you is.

These letters are part of a four part post series where I discuss four very important things you must know about: Jesus died for you, God loves you, He has an amazing plan for you, and you have so much hope through Him. It's so hard for me to pick one topic that's my favorite because they're all so wonderful to explore, but I really love looking at the hope, so I can't wait to share that in our fourth and final post.

As a quick recap, we've talked about Jesus dying for you and all your sins as part of his love for you, and then we explored God's love even deeper. Read those letters, written for YOU, here before proceeding to this one:

So now that you know you can be saved and just how deep God's love for you goes, you can believe Him when He tells you He has a great plan for you in Jeremiah 29:11. You can read more about why you can trust Him in this post, but today we're going to specifically focus on His plan. And you may think it's too late. That God's plan for you will never be fulfilled. You may think you've blown it by your sin. I want you to pay attention to this letter I'm writing to you, then, because it's NOT too late, and you can't screw up God's plan.

To whoever is reading this...

Know this:

God has a good plan for your life

How do I know this? He says so! To YOU!

‘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.
— Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

God KNOWS the plan He has for you. You don't have to worry. And this plan is to prosper you. It's not to harm you. It's a hopeful plan. It will give you a future. You may not feel this way at every stage of your life. But keep reading because I'm going to encourage you with what God says.

Maybe that's you right now. You've been working but don't feel like you're getting anywhere. You don't see this good plan. I want you to be encouraged in this verse, here:

‘But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.’
— 2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV

Keep being strong. Do not give up. God will get you through each day (2 Corinthians 9:8), and He will reward you for the work you are doing to seek Him and His plan for you. Your work for him, however small or insignificant you think it may be, is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). It's the little things that change the world. It's you, shining the light of God, everyday of your life to the best of your ability (Matthew 5:16).

In fact, I want you to hear the two verses I cited references for in that paragraph from 1 and 2 Corinthians.

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
— 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV

God will give you what you need to do His will. That is a promise right there. And here's the other:

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
— 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

Stand firm and don't give up. "Always give yourselves fully," it says. Devote yourself to God's plan for you and seeking it everyday, and do not give up because the verse concludes by saying "you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (bold emphasis added).

And if you think this doesn't apply to you, it does. It doesn't matter what you've done in your life. Get right with God, which I talk about in the first letter, and believe in Him when He tells you He has a good plan for you. It doesn't matter where you are or what you are doing, if you are working for the Lord, you will be blessed because that work is not done in vain. Your work will be rewarded (2 Chronicles 15:7), and it shines the light of God (Matthew 5:16). Don't waste that opportunity--it is not too late.

Let's dissect this, now:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
— 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

One of the biggest things Christians need to remember is that our home is not here. I talk about that in this post. We may not see the total outcome of our work done here, but one day we will. We can't lose heart! That is what the above verse says. God is renewing us each day. God is renewing YOU each day. And I love verse 17. We get so fixated on our problems now that we don't realize we've got eternal glory coming, and one day these problems are going to be NOTHING. That is just part of the incredible hope we have, and just wait until we talk about that!! But I can't get ahead of myself here.

I know I've been guilty of letting my problems of this earth paralyze me; what about you? I get so obsessed with the persecution I face, and in that I about forget the eternal glory. I can't. Next it says we fix our eyes on what is unseen. Because I want you to know something: this world is so temporary. It is SO temporary. People die . . . all the time. And what about you? Where is your hope beyond this life? I can answer that: it's in God and Him alone and what He's done for you through Jesus (John 3:16). And "what is unseen is eternal" (bold emphasis added). Don't worry about the problems you face now; look ahead to what is COMING because it is ETERNAL, and it is AMAZING! And we will go all into that when I talk to you about hope.

Please, please, please don't give up. Here it is reiterated again--the good you do does not go unnoticed by God.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
— Galatians 6:9 NIV

What is the key to not "missing" God's plan for your life? Here is what David Jeremiah says:

As we seek God and follow His guidance, He will direct our steps. We don’t need to worry that we will miss His plan for us.
— David Jeremiah

How do you seek God, though? How do you follow His guidance? Proverbs 3 verses 5 and 6 make it pretty clear.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Trust God. Submit to Him. And then trust Him to guide you. There are many ways to submit to God--by reading the Word, praying, obeying Him. Practice all of that on a daily basis. Read more about that here.

Now how amazing is this?

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
— Romans 5:3-5 NIV

These trials we face now are producing perseverance in us. I have witnessed that in my own life multiple times. And then that produces character. And oh, how my character has grown through trials. I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that I would not be the person I am today having not gone through the crap I've been through. And so I do rejoice because of that. And ultimately, I have found that hope. And that love. And it is amazing. And I want YOU to find it. Sometimes you have to totally fall apart to find it. I did. Multiple times. This summer, when God really showed me that I ONLY need His love and that there is truly hope ONLY through Him alone, I had to break. And He used that brokenness to draw me to Him and show me that, and I am so thankful it happened that way. I don't think I would've gotten it otherwise.

God's love is so much greater than anything here on earth, and sometimes He will break you to show you that. But you need to know that, so I am thankful He did that because He really convicted me and really had me feel the depth of my need for Him. I had a lot of anxiety and hopelessness building up inside of me over the summer, and I learned to depend on HIM alone to help me. And I don't ever want to forget that. So don't forget that. Know that He is all you need, and He will carry you through. The plan He has for you is much better than anything in this life.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
— Ephesians 2:10 NIV

We have good works prepared for us. God has prepared them in advance. Trust Him to carry you through. I also want you to really rest in this:

‘I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
— Job 42:2 NIV

God can do all things. And nobody can destroy His purpose. That's another promise. So you don't have to worry about anyone wrecking His plan for you because He is so much more powerful.

Here is another beautiful truth I want you to soak in:

However, as it is written:

’What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived’—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
— 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

Much like you can't even fathom how deep God's love is, you can't even imagine ("conceive") the things God has prepared for you. So rest in that. We don't deserve that at all, but God is that loving towards us. It doesn't matter how badly you've blown it in your life, let right now be the time you surrender to God and work for Him. If you think it's too late and you've blown God's plan for your life, I'd really like you to hear this quote. I found it the other day, and it opened up my own eyes.

If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this. You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.
— Lisa Bevere

Job 42:2 says that exact thing as well. And finally, if you are willing to totally surrender to God's plan for your life, you might lose some things. They are worldly things, but it can still hurt. So just remember this, God also takes that into account. You will be blessed for losing something to obey Him if that's what it takes.

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
— Matthew 19:29 NIV

Wow. That's a pretty powerful promise. And that's what's coming for you, my friend. So don't give up! God is going to guide you through! Trust in His plan! And to end, and this is meant to encourage you:

Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
— Psalm 49:16-17 NIV

Don't place your hope in things of this world because they have no meaning. Remember, we are to focus on what is unseen! And just remember all of God's promises for YOU that we've gone over. He is so deserving of our praise, so let's give it to Him. We give it to Him not just because of what's in it for us but because that is what He deserves. Our God is so amazing, so mighty, so loving . . . the list goes on. Worship Him because of that. Because that is what He deserves. And trust in His amazing plan for you. It starts right now and never ends.

Your sister in Christ, Ashlee Mae