Summary: How to find certainty in God’s will for your life
Terrible discouragement can be avoided if people realize nothing can ruin God’s plan for their life. God told Jeremiah, "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11)
Illustration:J. Dennis Miller, president of Church Youth Development states that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claims that adults learn in the following pattern: 1) acceptance of absolutes; 2) subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes; 3) application of truth received to life experience. Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning.
Youth, Miller contends, learn in a different way: 1) evaluation of life experience; 2) discovery of attitudes and actions which validate their life experiences; 3) identifying truth based on their relevance to life experience; 4) acceptance of truths that prove reliable from life experience. Life experience is the main influence on the learning young mind.
The Lord promises that unless the individual refuses to trust and obey Him, His purposes will be carried out. How did this confidence affect the way Jesus went about His ministry?
1. Jesus did not react violently to the betrayal of Judas Iscariot because He knew God could use even sinister people with God’s plan. The Lord discouraged the disciples from fighting the soldiers and priests who came to arrest him because He knew that God’s greater purposes required sacrifices. God told Jeremiah, I know the plans that I have for you. Plans for welfare and not for evil. To give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11)
2. Jesus understood that every single thing that happened to Him occurred for a good reason. The Lord did not give in to feelings of frustration since He knew that God could easily right any wrong. The Savior persevered through the worst injustice of history for the sake of God’ s greater purposes than one individual’s comfort. (Rom. 8:28)
Illustration:When you have nothing left but God, then you become aware that God is enough.
3. Jesus rested on the truth and love of God’s plan. It is amazing to read about Christ’s fortitude in the face of the Pharisees brutal obsession to have Him killed. When the Lord considered the heavenly Father’s truth and love He was able to carry His cross and endure such opposition.
4. Jesus had many reasons to feel let down, but He entrusted Himself to God’s higher wisdom. When we know that God’s plans are perfect and all His ways are peaceful we can rest assured that He will give ultimate vindication over wrong.
5. Jesus knew that occasionally God’s plans appear inscrutable. The mysteries of God’s will usually beyond the scope of human understanding. When we are content to trust and obey the Lord we will relieve ourselves from many unnecessary burdens.
6. Jesus wanted to provide an example for others to follow. When the Savior allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross He gave millions an ideal standard to visualize whenever they faced unjust criticisms, abuse and misunderstanding.
7. Jesus wanted to give hope to those who are downtrodden. About two billion people live under the corrupt oppression of greedy men. Christ provides every one of them with an example of one who was wrongly oppressed and came through like a champion. Whenever people doubt the power of perseverance for truth, let them look to Jesus to find blessing for the poor in spirit.
8. Jesus wanted to not only be the author, but the perfecter of our faith. By going all the way to Calvary, Jesus gave us the perfect example of what it means to be a finisher. At any point, the Savior could have given up, but He knew that God’s plans, carried to completion, would leave a legacy that would far out last his 33 years on earth.
9. Jesus wanted us to know that God is able overcome any power. With the combined power of the Roman empire and the religious leaders of the day accompanied with the schemes of the devil, all these proved weak against the highest power of the Almighty God.
10. Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Me, now go into all the world and make disciples of every nation. . . (Matt. 28:18-20) Christ’s example provides an incentive to millions to give of their best to the Master and His ministry.
11. Jesus told Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews." (John 18:36)
12. The Lord knew that His kingdom was from above. He garnered His strength, wisdom and tools from the kingdom of God. When we know seek to live out the truth, "Your kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." We will confidently overcome any attempt to thwart God’s greater plans, purposes and processes for our life.
He who has God and many other things has no more than he who has God alone.