These days, it’s hard to pick up a newspaper or turn on the news for only a few minutes without getting discouraged. There is so much evil in the world that it seems to be overflowing with it. Now that war has begun in Europe, it seems that the vile things that man does to other men is indescribable. Nevertheless, in my devotional this morning, God spoke clearly to me that He is in control and He has a plan.
Have you ever started your day with your hours all planned out? It’s a long “to do” list and you proudly check off things as you accomplish them. Then, there are the days that you have the list, you have the plan, but you don’t get to check off anything because you are just trying to make it through the day. Have you ever thought about the fact that God, the Sovereign Lord, does not have those kinds of days in which He gets discouraged and nothing seems to go right? He makes the plan and carries it out. In fact, He makes the plan before the plan needs to be made.
A case in point is Jesus. There was a whole system of sacrifice established in the Old Testament and described in great detail in the Book of Leviticus. A lamb without blemish. Blood on the altar. Take away the sins. All the columns were checked. But it wasn’t enough. Even before the foundation of the earth, God had a plan to save mankind from our sinful natures, once and for all. His plan was Jesus! Before I knew that Jesus died for me, God had already provided Him as my Savior.
I like the part in this verse that says I was still a sinner. God didn’t wait for me to get my act together and complete a “to do” list of things to accomplish before I could be saved. His plan was Jesus…already made. Done! Finished!
Now, back to the scenario of war in Europe. This verse is my prayer for the brave Ukrainian people. But it is also my prayer for anyone facing a formidable enemy. Instead of thinking about the power of the enemy, consider the power of our God who is beside you and who already has a plan. When Elisha’s servant was downhearted in II Kings 6 because he saw how great the enemy was, Elisha prayed for God to open his servant’s eyes. The prayer was answered and the servant saw a host of angels prepared to fight the battle. We don’t always know what God’s plan is, but we can rest in the absolute certainty that He has one, and it’s good.
I have read this verse many times because waiting is just not something I’m very good at. But today is the first time that I paid close attention to the middle part of the verse. It says to be brave and courageous. We are not supposed to cower away from the world and events that cause us fear. Instead, we are to bravely wait for the Lord, knowing with all of our being that He has a plan. And it’s a good one!
Andrew Murray was a pastor and author, most known for his missions work and establishing churches in South Africa. I saved this quotation from one of my devotionals last year and when I read it again today, I knew that it would be useful for my current blog. We limit God because we put Him into a box of humanity, thinking that He can only do so much because that is what we can do. God, however, cannot be fenced in. He is everywhere, all-powerful and capable of doing anything. So, today, as you pray over your to-do list or pray for the people in Ukraine, be bold in your prayers. Be brave! Know that God is hearing and will answer them. Perhaps His timing is different than ours would be. Most likely, that is true. That’s because God is always on time, He knows the best time to answer, and He has always and will always be there for us. Why? Because He loves us and He has a plan. And it’s a good one!