“He makes everything work out according to His plan.” Ephesians 1:11
I can relate to Garth Brooks’ famous song “Unanswered prayers.” The chorus of the song goes like this:
Sometimes I thank God, for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’, to the man upstairs
And just because he doesn’t answer, doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts, are unanswered prayers
Granted this is a very “southern” way of stating a very profound reality, but – since I do live in the “south”, it’s exactly what I needed to hear and exactly the way I needed to hear it.
Sometimes we pray for a certain thing, believing it will truly be good for us, only to realize that God’s Unanswered Prayer was actually a blessing in disguise.
I heard Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, say, “If God had answered her prayers when she was young, she would’ve married the wrong man – several times.”
I recall hearing the example, “Two teardrops were floating down the river of life. One asked the other, “Who are you?” The second teardrop replied, “I’m the teardrop from the girl who loved a man and lost him –– Who are you?” The first teardrop replied, “I’m the teardrop of the girl who got him.”
That’s how life goes, isn’t it? We cry over what we don’t have, not realizing that we would’ve cried twice as hard if God had given it to us. The expression “walking by faith” means trusting the plan God has for our life, even when we don’t have a clue how it will turn out. God reveals His plan on a need-to-know basis, I think this is likely because, if He told us everything up front, we would argue with Him incessantly about it being the “wrong” plan. Bottom line – God knows what’s best for us and, if we will only “trust Him, He will make our paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6).
Paul said, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Phil 4:11) Clearly, his contentment didn’t come from his surroundings, since he spent all but seven years of his ministry in prison.
So where did his contentment come from? He was confident in the knowledge that God “makes everything work out according to his plan.” Does it mean Paul understood every detail of God’s plan? No, but when he didn’t understand the plan, He trusted God’s plan!
Trusting God had a plan, despite his circumstances, is where Paul’s peace, joy and contentment came from. You and I can have that same peace, joy, and contentment – if we simply trust God and His plan.
Do you believe God has a plan? Are you willing to trust it?