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Let God Be Your Focus

Life Lesson 34: I am learning that everything happens for a reason and that God does not require us to understand His purpose in every situation. We are called to obey Him and walk by faith even when we don’t understand what He is doing in our lives.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” —Romans 8:28 NLT

As you travel through this new year, may you take courage and trust in the Lord God, even if the road you are on right now is a bumpy ride. Make it your new year’s resolution to lift your eyes to heaven and allow Jesus to direct your plans this year.

Anyone who has lived any amount of time knows that things are going to happen outside of our control. As human beings, we like to be in control of our circumstances. We want to determine our destiny and we want things to go our way, but it is not always up to us. When we realize and accept the fact that God is in control, then we can rest in the knowledge that He knows where we are, and He knows what is going on in our lives. The problem you are dealing with right now is not a surprise to God. It may be the very tool He is using to grow your faith and to teach you to trust Him. Whenever I do not understand the season of life that I am in, where God is taking me, or why He allows trials in my life, I remind myself of His goodness and His faithfulness.

One of my favorite go-to Scriptures is Romans 8:28 NLT, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Since we know that in all things God is working for our good, then it should be comforting to rest in the promises of God because, no matter what you face in your life this year, it is all going to work out for your good and God’s glory. Remember that trials are not here to harm us, but to draw us closer to God and help us to grow in our faith in Him. Founder of In Touch Ministries and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Charles Stanley noted, “Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God.” I could not agree more. How else will we be able to experience the love of God unless we seek to know Him and humbly walk with Him in obedience? It is through consistent prayer, the reading, and practice of His Word that we develop an intimate connection with our heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that “because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan” (Ephesians 1:11 NLT). Notice that God “chose us”, and He is the One who makes everything works according to His plan and purpose for our lives.

You may be asking, “Why then does God allow terrible things to happen?” It is a question that humanity has grappled with since the beginning of time. The answer to that question may not be available on this side of heaven. So then, what do we need to do in the meantime? We should take heart in knowing that we can trust Almighty God, even when we cannot see our way clear, and we do not understand what He is doing in our lives.

It is reassuring for me to know that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT). I don’t profess to understand all the mysteries of God, but one thing I do know for sure is that when we walk in faith and trust Him, no matter what we face, we are promised that everything that we go through has a purpose. God has a plan to use what you are going through to accomplish His perfect will in your life.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward, there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (12:11 NLT). No difficulty is pleasant at the time, but it is encouraging to know that even then, God is fully aware of what we face and is orchestrating every event in our lives for good. Have you ever gone through a challenging situation, only to come out on the other side joyful and peaceful about the way things turned out? As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are not only joyful, but you are also grateful to be able to share in the cross of Christ and the abundant life that He promised. It is always encouraging for me to hear someone tells how God has manifested His power during a tough time in their life or how He brought them out of a devastating situation. No doubt, there are countless stories of how God turns our “mess” into a message.

Remember, “Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true” (Joshua 21:45 NLT). Elsewhere in Scripture, we are told that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 NLT). If God does not change, then we can rest assured that “everything”, not some things, but everything that happens to us are working together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. God is faithful. He always has and He always will be. Trust Him. Hold firm to this truth that the “God who began a good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 NLT).

There had been times in my life when I felt like I was living in a house of cards, and everything seemed to be falling and my life felt out of control. The only thing that sustained me in those uncertain times is my faith in Jesus—the solid foundation on which I stand. If you do not have faith in the living God, this may be hard to grasp, but those who are believers in Christ Jesus know that He would never allow the difficulty in their life if He did not have a plan for their good.

For God to complete the excellent work He has already begun in you and me, He will need to train us up so that we are equipped to fulfill His purpose, and that may mean He might allow us to go through some hard times to peel away layers that may be hindering His perfect plan for us.

Remember, every detail of your life serves a purpose. Never underestimate what God is doing in you and through you as you choose to follow Him. Stay open to the Holy Spirit so that He can work in your heart and life this year and beyond.

“When you realize that God loves you and that He has a plan for your life, you can walk with your head held high — totally confident in who He created you to be.” – Joyce Meyer

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