Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (NIV)
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) This statement is followed by each seasonal partner under the sun. There is a time to be born and a time to die is the very first one. I understand that everyone has a birthday and a day that they will leave this world. I just don’t always understand God’s Purpose in His Timing and execution of His Plan especially when the good die young, and evil live long lives. There are many things about God’s Way that eludes me. These are the areas where faith and trust bond us together with Jesus so we can continue to follow Him walking in His Ways even when there seems to be no goodness or mercy to be found.
I knew who she was when I saw her. I asked someone to introduce us. I was supposed to meet her. We were meant to connect. However, she was very stand offish. My enthusiasm overwhelmed her, it took me by surprise. When she grasped my extended hand, I could feel it. I remember it. I understand it. God has saved, healed and delivered me from it. Timing is everything and though she endured much more than what was required of me, I knew in an instant that this was part of my purpose and plan to help her experience the freedom found when our heart is free again. Even though I don’t understand the Plan of God or His Way, life has produced enough experience to realize that we don’t have to know if we can just find it in our heart to love, trust and honor the Lord – over and over again.
Sir Isaac Newton is credited with the important law of physics that says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I am no scientist. Barely making it through science in school and struggling even more with mathematics, I have to give credit to the Holy Spirit for bringing this concept to my mind. God loves science until it decides He is not the driving force behind it. Science in not the enemy but rather the one who tells us that science is responsible for the complexity and perfection of humanity and the world in which we live. Reading Ecclesiastes 3 puts this into perspective today. There is a time for everything. It is predetermined. It is predestined. To learn, understand and live by God’s Timing requires faith. Without faith, it is impossible to know or understand that all things work together for our good even concepts. Each one represents an action with an equal and opposite reaction. This totally eliminates the gray area that humanity has created as a dwelling place between this world and God’s Kingdom. It forces us to choose.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
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 hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
God has a plan for you that was handwritten from beginning to end before our birth lasting beyond natural death. (Psalm 139:16) It is completely comprehensive lacking not a single detail. Finite thinking has a problem with this not in the action but in the equal and opposite reaction. So how do we know that God works together all things for our good (Romans 8:28)? This is the verse that allows us to step over God’s Timeline when it does not meet human expectation or automatically breaks the human heart effecting our mind, will and emotions.
We are given a free will. (John 8:36) Without freedom, we would not be able to express love to the Lord because we would be bound and held captive. God does not save us and keep us. Jesus saves us and frees us to choose darkness or light and good or evil. With the slate wiped completely clean in each moment of every single day, we have the right and responsibility to choose. Our choices determines the resulting action in our life. The Son gives us absolute freedom to choose life over death in each moment.
Jeremiah 29:11 is often claimed by Christians who do not read beyond this verse to know what is required. The requirement of God’s Plan filled with prosperity, hope and a future is to seek Him with our whole heart. Any part of our heart given to something less than God’s Best has an equal and opposite reaction that can and will produce consequences apart from total obedience and absolute commitment to God. How will we ever discover God’s Plan and live out its fulfillment? Obedience and commitment founded on love and trust allow us to submit and surrender our heart willingly even if we do it piece by piece.
Proverbs 16:3-6 (NIV)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.
Love and faithfulness is the desired response of humanity for the salvation received by Jesus Christ. Though human nature is to toil and earn it, it is impossible to do so. If our response is obedience, we will have the outcomes promised in God’s Word according to the Will of God. Our commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior allows us the freedom to choose. It is one’s personal decision to call Him Lord that allows us to possess all the Promises of God according to His Word and dictated by His Prescribed Plan for our life. A proud heart seeks the Lord of its own accord. It tries to make a way other than the One Way already provided. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” Is He your Savior today? Is Jesus the Lord of your life? This is the secret to successfully living in the full satisfaction that Jesus has offered to those who follow Him.
Matthew 10:37-39 (NIV)
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
The process of acquisition according to God’s Will is faith. Faith means that we live by what we know not necessarily what we see, feel, taste or touch. Godly knowledge is discovered by reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word. The more one desires God’s Plan the more they must dig and delve into His Written Word. Not only that, but Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in human flesh. It is by His Example that we have a guideline to follow in this life. He was subject to all the same temptations that we endure and did not sin or rebel against the Father. He was fully God and fully man. Are we so different? Though not the Son of God as Jesus was God’s Only Child, we are created in His Image which means we have the ability to grow, mature and develop to be more like Him. It is in our DNA. When sin impeded our progress and stole our future and hope, Jesus went to the Cross walking perfectly through the earth to the Cross. He laid down His Life completely before God the Father to save His Dying People and gave up His Life freely for you and me.
We are to give up this life (our way) if we desire God’s Plan. There is no other way. We do not always understand what the Lord is doing or why He allows certain things to happen. Faith is what we use to step over the unknowns to be surrounded by the comfort of knowing God’s Timing is just as perfect as His Plan and all things work together for our good. Our alignment with Christ give us the impossible outcomes that only God provides. To take up our cross and follow Him could be all those things that we don’t understand to carry them out to fulfillment. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I am grieved when the young die too soon. Yet I know that I know God is good all of the time. It is with this in mind, that I take up my cross daily and follow Him even when that thing I bear is heavily burdened with the unknown.
John 14:26-27 (NIV)
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The Lord did not leave us to fend for ourselves or figure it all out alone. We have an Advocate. He is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is described by many names. This one is very important. He pleads on our behalf. There are times when we have no idea how to pray or have exhausted every effort to petition God for a change. It is in that time that the Holy Spirit intervenes. On those days when everything seems to be falling apart, even us, the Spirit of God holds us together until new mercy arrives the next day. He helps us in ways we do not know. He strengthens us in weakness. He is the understanding we need when it comes to God’s Word. (John 5:26) He equips us to keep going when our faith seems so small. He is the Power of God invested in us to carry us through. God’s Grace is sufficient in our weakness. The bigger they are the harder they fall. Crying out to God for His Intervention is one thing, but moving out of the way so that He can perform is another.
“My peace I give you.” I have confided over and over again that the battle for our son’s life broke me. It completely shattered my image of normal life and completely destroyed my carefully constructed comfort zone called control. God gave me peace in exchange for all the stress, worry and anxiety that I accumulated before he got sick and carried us through three long years on faith and hope alone. I had more peace throughout his battle against cancer than I did in “normal” life. God used this horrific experience to change me from the inside out. However, when it was over I walked around like a zombie for a year. Every bit of my personal and physical being a shell of who I was with no idea of who I should be from then on, everything changed including me and now I had to learn what God desired for me again.
When I touched the hand of the woman, I could feel the weight of her burden. Her daughter who also battled cancer is victoriously with Jesus. I see the pain in her eyes. I felt the weakness in her hand. I saw me not too long ago. I felt purpose rising up. I saw a plan forming. I cannot lead others to where I have never been, and though I did not walk as far in faith as she did, I came out very much in the same condition. God wants to set her free. I didn’t know her yet during our battle I prayed for her, too. Following her plight through social media, I cried when she had to say goodbye. God’s Plan for our life seldom includes just us. He is uniting us with each other to bond us together in love. I have what somewhat else needs. I have gone through things gaining valuable experience that can help them go around. In this case, I know what it takes to release the heavy burden. Death gives way to life in Jesus Christ. As our soul prospers so do we…
Psalm 33:10-11 (NIV)
The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
God’s Plan is perfect. It was planned out extensively for our life. To have God’s Plan means surrendering our lives to God’s Will and His Timing in all things. Sin produces consequences. Obedience allows us to wallow through life in God’s Grace. The equal and opposite reactions of Grace populate our life with promises. Every consequence can yield a promise in our life when surrendered and submitted to Jesus Christ. There will be things that happen in everyone’s life that cause hurt, pain and hardship. Through our deep and abiding relationship with Christ by faith, we step over these times to find more grace, love and mercy than every thought possible. We cannot fathom the Favor and Goodness of God in our life. It can only be discovered by faith and hope that goes beyond consequences and is willing to wait on God’s Timing. How many times have we abandoned the promise that comes with the pain simply because we refused to wait on the Lord? Have many times has God provided a miracle that melted when we walked away? I know that the Lord has big plans for me. I know that every detail of my life can turn out for my good. I must be willing to wait for God’s equal and opposite reaction to take place.
Jesus wants to turn our mourning into dancing today. He desires our sorrow be traded for joy. The Lord promises for those who endure to the end will be saved. I encourage you today to pick up those dead dreams and abandoned promises and tuck them back in your heart. The Lord has not failed or forgotten you. He is working out all the problems, hardship and trouble for your full benefit. The magnitude of your pain will be produce an equal measure of joy in your life. I know it seems impossible. With God all things are possible if we believe. The immeasurable lose you have endured will produce more abundance then you have ever known. Don’t give up. Scoop up all the pieces of your broken heart and lay them on the altar. The Lord makes all things new. God does nothing halfway. He doesn’t compromise for our comfort. He doesn’t offer substitutions along the way. Those who wait on the Lord are renewed. They are restored. They are made complete lacking no good thing. This is God’s Law of Physics in our life.
Psalm 30:10-12 (NIV)
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.