In early days of my new life as a believer in Jesus Christ, I wondered about the future. Did God have a plan for my life? One morning I lay awake early, directing this question to God. "Do you really have a plan for individual people, for me?"
A few seconds later, my thoughts turned toward a new edition of a magazine for Christian writers. I had been too busy to look at it. Now, on that free morning, there was time. I went into the next room and found the magazine where I'd dropped it hurriedly.
Taking it with me, I began to skim a page at random, when I noticed a text box with bold typeface words: "I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."* God's answer to my question had come quickly, inside a writer's magazine.
That does not mean that I learned the specific plans ahead, including a move to a far away country for a ten-year period only a few years later. Other surprises could be mentioned. If I had been told of each one in advance, there would have been too many emotions to deal with, too much effort to anticipate details and clues about how such a plan might unfold. Havoc would likely have invaded my every thought.
The important part is knowing, by faith, that God's living Word is true, including that He knows His plans for us, plans for good, to give us a future, to give us hope at all times. The assurance is particular and individual. Sometimes the plans unfold within bad times. Sometimes they unfold as answers within good times. The way they come is no longer central to me. What I treasure is the realization that in all kinds of times, God's plans are at work. He knows the plans He has for you and for me, for our good and our hope.
God has excellent plans for everyone. Who will believe this?
*Based on Jeremiah 29: 11