You bet He does! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” The thing we need to realize about the previous two promises is that they do not necessarily mean while we are still here on earth. In the natural realm our thought process has a tendency to take these two verses out of context. Yet; the wisdom of an Almighty & All- knowing God permeates much deeper than our intellect. Only He is good and only He knows what is best for us even when we think we know better with our own self-righteous desires. Perhaps that it is why it says in 1st Corinthians 3:19, “for the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God”. This is a perfect example as to why we need to obey the first of the 10 Commandments by putting no other Gods before Him. In doing so we would seek His will for our lives and not our own. Otherwise we find ourselves twisting and bending the scripture into shapes that fit our unbiblical lifestyles.
What kind of message are you preaching to the lost while witnessing? Do you promise your potential converts a better life when you have no idea if they will even live to see the next day? Picture yourself going into a hospice place to share the gospel. For those of you who do not know what a hospice place is; it is a place intended for people to go who have a deathly illness and do not come out alive. So you go from room to room in the hospice place and you tell the patients that God has a wonderful plan for their life. But does it really make any sense? If you can’t tell someone who is dying that God has a wonderful plan for their life then is it really the “Good News”?
Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” But what is the good news if we can’t tell people that God has a wonderful plan for their lives? The good news is simply that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and now we can escape the wrath to come by asking Him into our hearts. Through his death we can become righteous in His sight and face Him on judgment day with a clear conscience. It is at that time we can be seated at the right hand of the Father and know without a doubt to the fullest extent the wonderful plan and abundant life in the place which He is preparing for His children at this very moment! Hallelujah!
All throughout history life threatening viruses have been known to spread worldwide at an alarming rate. What we need to realize is that what is even more alarming and tragic is the countless souls bound for eternal damnation. The “Good News” is a vital substance for the existence in every human soul. It is what every soul is craving and longing for since birth. As the “full” gospel message begins to be presented; seeds begin to be planted, reaped, watered and sown as the true meaning of life begins to be pondered upon. Otherwise they are walking in darkness and their whole life is pointless.
As I look back at my own life and reflect upon the inevitable that my mom was passing away with cancer. I can’t help but think about those 7 months of watching her suffer in advance of that dreadful day. It was definitely not something I was looking forward to. Though; had it not been for my relationship with the Lord and putting my trust in Him I would have been devastated. Instead; I rested in the hope of knowing the destiny of her future was secure and she would dwell in an abundant life for eternity. (Notice I used the first two promises which are the bases of this message to make a point.) Furthermore; I also have the hope, peace, joy and comfort in knowing that I too will join her in the Lord’s time.
There are many people who lose loved ones and because they do not have any hope they do not know how to move on with their lives. While others who do have hope in an abundant life and wonderful plan (only in the here and now) shake their fists at God and blame him for their terrible circumstances. Eventually they become bitter backsliders because the presentation of the “Good News” was distorted leading them to heartache and disillusionment.
Think about it……when the pastor at your church asks for prayer requests. Do the majority of those requests seem anything near wonderful? Do your potential converts a favor and tell them, “to come to Jesus and be ready to put their hope and trust in Him; because trials, temptations and tribulations are sure to come.” James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life.” Encourage them to pass the tests which will become a powerful testimony for overcoming the devil by the blood of the Lamb according to Revelation 12:11.
Take the time to read the book of Job. Now that’s a real sob story! Even though he lost everything he had he never cursed God; although God allowed those things to happen! God was with him and he acknowledged that fact. It was a test and Job passed with flying colors!
Paul’s life is another perfect example of what the abundant life is all about. It may be a good time to point out that abundant means “full”. His life was extremely full. He had been shipwrecked, imprisoned, left for dead and eventually martyred. If you will look back at the 12 disciples you will see that 11 of them were martyred. Those illustrations do not seem like wonderful plans to me. Yet I can’t help but think that at this very moment they are all basking in the glory of an eternal abundant life and surrounding us as the great cloud of witnesses described in Hebrews 12:1.
I can’t help but believe that we are living in a day and age where Christians will have to face trials and tribulations unlike any other in the history of mankind. It will be a season where I believe the “Wonderful Plan” message will be silenced due to the widespread chaos and devastation mentioned all throughout the book of Revelation. Be ready. Watch and pray. Obey His commandments as you seek and save those who are lost.