The concept of “God’s plan” can be nebulous. The platitude, “This was just God’s plan,” rings hollow—or even hurtful—in times of pain or terrible events in history. While we cannot always pin down God’s plan for our individual lives, we can observe, straight from Scripture, God’s ultimate plan for salvation.
God’s Plan for His People—Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
A popular choice for a Confirmation verse, Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of God’s plans for His people. In historical context, the prophet Jeremiah is speaking to the beleaguered Israelites who were subject to Babylonian exile.
While your external hardships might not be as intense as captivity or exile, Jeremiah’s words ring true for you nonetheless. Just as God chose the Israelites and provided for them, even through times of much tumult, God chose YOU in your Baptism and promises to be your guide and provider.
God’s Plan for Christians—Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he emphasizes that the church, having been saved by grace, is called to a higher standard. Because we have been created and redeemed by God, it is God’s plan for us that we continue sharing His love through our actions.
God’s Plan for Accomplishing His Purpose—Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.
God is not merely a part of your story—but rather, He loves you so much that He uses you as a part of His story! Because we participate in God’s goodness through Baptism and His presence in Holy Communion, we are linked to God’s plan for good.
This is not to say, however, that hardships will not find us in this life. In fact, these words from Paul follow mentions of earthly suffering, groaning, and longing. Despite these inevitable struggles, we can trust that our challenges are not futile but that they, too, can work for good.
God’s Plan to Instruct His Followers—Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
As children of God, we can take comfort in God’s guidance and guardianship over us. While we can’t expect God to open up the heavens and directly tell us what we should do at any given moment, we can seek counsel in:
- Holy Scripture,
- trusted pastors and church workers, and
- other faithful Christians who journey alongside us.
God’s Plan for Salvation—Titus 2:11–14
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.
These words from Paul summarize God’s ultimate plan for salvation. From this, we can glean the following truths:
- God desires for all people to be saved.
- God implores us to live moral lives.
- God promises that His Son, our Redeemer, will return to restore creation.
God is all-knowing and works in all things. However, we need not get caught up in attempting to “decode” God’s personal plan for us by asking questions such as “Who will I marry?” “When will I get a promotion?” and “Where am I supposed to settle down?” As Christians, we can take comfort in being part of God's story, knowing He is with us every step of the way.
In this eight-week women’s Bible study, uncover how Joseph’s struggles, woven together in a rich narrative of hope and faithfulness, showcase our need to let God’s love and forgiveness lead our lives.