God has a purpose and a plan.
“For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good, and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11
When I was in my 20’s, I used to do a road trip every year to go home to see my parents. I lived 1000kms away from them, so I had to plan the trip out. I would start by getting out the map, and working out which way I wanted to go. I had a choice of going on the inland route, or the coastal route. I would plan the stops that I would make and the find out where the petrol stations were. I packed my car with the supplies I needed for the trip, and made sure I had a spare tire, tools and an emergency pack with food, water and extra supplies in case I got lost or my car broke down. Every year I made it safely to my parent’s house and I didn’t ever need the extra supplies, but I did need the map, and the plans I made, certainly helped me in knowing where I was going and how to get there.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation or circumstances that was unexpected and you didn’t know what to do?
Maybe you unexpectedly lost your job, or your partner broke up with you, maybe you were betrayed by a close friend, our child is off course, you went through a divorce, lost a loved one, encounter an illness, or you find yourself in a place in your life that wasn’t what you had planned for or expected.
Sometimes when we encounter changes in our lives that are unexpected, we can feel lost and not sure what to do, not sure where to go, or how to move forward. It is easy for us to stay in that place of feeling lost, and stuck, because we are unsure of how to navigate the changes.
Just like I needed a map and a plan to arrive safely at my parent’s house, we all need a “game plan” for different seasons of our lives.
God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives, he loves you and gave you the skills, abilities, talents, life experience and personality you need to achieve those plans. The moment you were conceived, God has a specific and detailed plan for you life.
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God” 1 Peter 4:10
When we face a situation that is a surprise to us, I believe God wants to use it for us to grow, learn and change. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we had planned, and when that happens, God always has a plan and a life-giving way through.
So, what can you do when you find yourself in a circumstance that is unexpected?
Have you ever been to a lookout? Its amazing how different a town or city can look from a higher perspective. I went to visit a new city a few years ago and didn’t realize how big it was until I went to a lookout and saw the vastness of the area. It gave me a different perspective. Its important for us, when we face something difficult to take a step back and ask God for his view on it. Ask him what he wants you to learn, and what he wants to do through you as you navigate it. When you can see if from his perspective, it can give us an idea of the plan he has for us, and then we can start to move forward.
Have you ever been through a tough time in your life and you felt like you were the only one going through it? The chances are that whatever you are going through right now, someone else has already been through it and is out the other side. Its important for us to find stories and testimonies of other people who have been through a similar thing to encourage us and give us hope that we can make it through. I know that I find other people’s testimonies very inspiring and helpful, as it is a story of how they overcame and sometimes the lessons they have learnt can help you as you make a “game plan” to get through your own challenges.
3. God’s word
What I love about the Bible is that it is God’s promises and his truth for us, and whatever we are facing in our lives, there is a verse that we can hold onto. God’s word is full of wisdom, guidance and comfort.
Find a couple of verses that apply to whatever you are facing and meditate on those verses all throughout the day.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105
Why do you need a “game plan”?
I met a guy last year and he had been through many different challenges in his life, and he could tell me in specific detail about every one of them. He was stuck in his past and kept reliving the memories and he didn’t have a plan for his life ahead, or even the life he was living now.
We need to decide on a plan to move forward otherwise we can get stuck and focus on the challenges, rather than the solution. You need specific steps that you can take, and actions that you can implement.
I love this quote by Alan Lakein that says “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now”.
If you want to lose weight, you will most likely make a plan on how much weight you want to lose and the food you are going to eat, the exercise you are going to do and the healthy habits you are going to incorporate into your life so that you can achieve your goals.
It is the same thing when we face challenges. We need a plan that we can achieve with small steps we can take every day to help us get to our destination.
When you have a plan to move forward it gives you hope and motivation. We all need hope that whatever we are facing is not permanent and that things are going to change. When we start to take move forward, we feel productive and it encourages us to keep going, regardless of what we are facing.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is the result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort” – Paul J Meyerr
Have you ever played a team sport? I used to play basketball and we had a great coach. We trained together as a team during the week, and he had a “game plan” for us to follow, so that we could win our games. He had played basketball before and he knew exactly what we needed to do as individuals and as a team, so that we could win the game.
God is like our coach. He has a specific plan for you, in whatever situation you find yourself in. He knows exactly what to do, and he is right there with you, to help you, as you go through it and come out the other side. He has a “game plan” for you, with everything you need to win.
Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by a circumstance we can easily slip into the mindset of “I can’t do this” because it feels too hard. There is always something that you “CAN” do. When we focus our attention on the things that we can do in the situation to help improve it, or take steps forward, it gives us the power to make changes.
Just remember whatever it is that you are going through, someone else has already been through it and overcome it. Right now, you are writing a “game plan” for someone else who is going to face the same thing. Your wisdom, life experience, and testimony are going to inspire someone else to keep going, and push through their own challenges to “win the game”.
God always has a “game plan” for us.
God is not surprised by what you are going through. He is right there beside you, and he wants to bring you out the other side stronger, more compassionate, closer to God, with more courage and wisdom than before. He takes us through things, so that we can become who he wants us to be, so we can live out the purpose and plan he has for us.
“He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6
So today, whatever you are facing, I want to encourage you to stop for a minute and spend some time with God.
Ask him what his perspective is on what you are facing.
Ask him what he wants to do through you in this season.
Find some verses that apply to your circumstances, and meditate on those, they will give you hope, guidance and wisdom.
Make a “game plan” to move forward and start to take small steps.
Remember that what you are going through now, is going to be someone else’s “game plan” one day.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart” Psalm 27:13