Summary: Twelve principles to guide your future
A. WHEN YOU FEEL CUT OFF FROM GOD
1. When you can’t reach God, you question Him, “Has God forgotten to be kind? Has He slammed the door on His compassion?” (Ps. 77:9, NLT). “O Israel, how can you say the Lord does see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your prayers?” (Is. 40: 2, NLT).
a. Israel cries out in captivity. Their sins got them in trouble.
b. You cry out because of trouble with family, physical. Your sins got you there, now what?
2. When does God forsake His children?
“Yet Jerusalem says, ‘The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us. Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands’” (Is. 49:14-16, NLT).
a. Can a mother forsake a nursing baby? No!
b. God cannot deny His promise or His nature. God loves you.
3. What is important about the hand? It works, protects, feeds, cares, etc.
a. The hand is the extension of your heart, it does what the heart and head tell it to do. God’s hand tells it what to do.
b. You are engraved (tattooed) on God’s hand. What is a tattoo?
c. People tattoo names that are important to them on their bodies; name reminds, name gives identity, name is always there, permanent.
B. WHY WILL GOD HEAR ISRAEL?
“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” (Jer. 29:11, NLT).
1. God has a plan for your life. It is best for you to be accomplished in the best possible way, to carry out His will, and give glory to Him.
2. What is a plan?
Plan – French, foundation, level ground, to plant, to fix in place. (1) A drawing, diagram, (2) A top of horizon view, (3) A large scale map, (4) A method to achieve an end, (5) A customary method of doing something, (6) Detained information about a program, (7) A goal, aim, etc., (8) Orderly arrangement of plans of an overall design. ~Webster
a. What do we know about God’s plan? “It is good and acceptable, and pleasing will of God” (Rom. 12:2, NKJV).
b. What is promised about God’s plan for you? “Plans for good and not for disaster” (Jer. 29:11). God’s plans calls for discipline to learn to walk, but never promising you won’t fall down as you learn.
c. Discipline is hard, hurting, sweaty, repetitive, including shut doors and opened ones.
d. What does God’s plan do for you? “To give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11, NKJV).
Hope – ME, akin to hoffen, to plan a fulfillment. (1) To cherish a desire with expectation, (2) Archaic trust to bring to pass, (3) strong desire, (4) belief in fulfillment, (5) someone or something on which desires are centered. ~Webster
e. What are the mechanics of hope (God’s plan for you)? (1) Based on scriptures, (2) nourished by prayer, (3) yielded, (4) fueled by circumstances, (5) based on one’s physical and spiritual gifts, (6) guided by God’s previous working in your life.
C. 12 PRINCIPLES TO GUIDE YOUR FUTURE
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare” (Jer. 29:4-7, NLT).
1. God’s plan is to live in the circumstances you find yourself.
2. Make human plans for your life and future.
3. Plan for your shelter “build homes.”
4. God’s plan is work, “plant garden.”
5. Be productive and successful in your work. “Eat the food you produce.”
6. Settle down and grow spiritually where you are planted, “plan to stay.”
7. Eat to be healthy.
8. Look for love and find a spouse.
9. God’s plan involves your family.
10. Support your government (pay taxes).
11. Yield yourself to God’s will and plan, “where I send you.”
12. You will reflect the culture where you are planted. “Its welfare will determine your welfare.”
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart: