Dear Blessed and Highly Favored,
As long as I can remember, it is a tradition of mine to begin the New Year by reflecting on Jeremiah 29:11: “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 a hope and a future.” I give God thanks because in every situation he has proven faithful. God has proven faithful over and over again, even in my questions and in my doubts. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet with a message from God very few wanted to hear, told Israel that after God permitted them to be captives in Babylon he would visit his people and perform his good word concerning them (Jeremiah 29: 8-10). In my journey with the Lord, I am learning there are challenges God permits us to go through no matter how much we cry out to God. God does not punish us, rather He works his grace in our lives. We will never know what God is able to do in our lives, especially when the situation seems utterly impossible if we fail to hope in the Lord.
70 years in Babylon was not a death sentence. God loves us so much. He is working his good in our lives. He never forgets his promises concerning us, and most importantly he promises never to leave us. God was with his people even in Babylon. God is with us when he permits us to journey through those unfamiliar and difficult seasons in our lives. You see, Babylon is a place we meet God. We heard it said, “If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.” We recall the words of Job, “Even though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him…” Job trusted in the faithfulness of God. Queen Esther who was determined to fight for her people boldly proclaimed, “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” Esther was a courageous woman, because she trusted in the faithfulness of God. How many times do we limit God? How many times do we place the emphasis more on the problem, than on the Problem Solver? We often limit God to what has happened to us in the past or how we perceive the situation through our own set of lenses. God says “I know the plans I have for you.” God knows and we can trust His promises. Notice God promises to give us a hope and a future. God knows!
Some of you might say, I trust God, but I do not understand why God permits us to go through what he does. Job never got an answer as to why God permitted him to suffer, but one thing we do know Job trusted the faithfulness of an omniscient, an all knowing and an all seeing God. Through every storm, through every test, through every pain, through every suffering, through every sickness, through every doubt, through every disappointment, through every lonely night, through the grief of losing someone so dear, through the grief of not being the person we used to be, and through each fear and each insecurity, God kept us. God held us together. God kept us holding on. Through it all, we learned to trust Jesus and through it all we learned to trust God. Nothing, absolutely, nothing is wasted with God. God is perfecting us. This is a process. God’s ways and God’s timing are perfect. Think about it, God is never too late or too early; our God is always right on time. Each day God is tenderly teaching us to wait patiently on him. God is transforming us into vessels of His choosing. God’s plans for us are always for the good; therefore, in every situation we can trust Him for the outcome which we know is according to his good and perfect will. God knows!
My dear sister(s) in Christ, you are loved, you are blessed and you are highly favored. Stop asking God why, or how, or when, trust Him to fulfill His will in your life and in the lives of others. Our God is sovereign. Nothing compares to him. He is in complete control. I challenge you to break the habit of telling God what to do. Do you ever listen to yourself pray? Sometimes our prayers are full of demands. We forget to praise and to thank God for his faithfulness. Not only do we tell God what to do, we tell him when to do it, where we want it to be, and when we want it to happen. We can trust the faithfulness of God. Think about it, when all else fails, we still got God. He will not leave us or forsake us. My dear sister(s), God is not finished with us yet. He is always faithful, even when we are not.
Rev. Tracey R. Grosse