A valid plan provides a sense of comfort and trust. If you are a leader, the ability to truthfully say to others, “I know what’s going on. We’re still following the plan,” helps others believe in you. If you can go a step further and point out how the plan is working, then the trust grows even more. On the other hand, while there may be some excitement and an adrenaline rush from “figuring it out as we go along,” it’s more stressful and little things can cause a breakdown much sooner than if there’s a reasonable plan.
God understands this about us. We have to be flexible enough to handle changes in expectations. However, those changes are easier to handle when we know that we’re still following “the plan.” When I speak of plan here, I mean the plan that fits with God’s sovereign will. Knowing God has a plan, that He’s totally in control of that plan, and that we are a part of that plan can give us a sense of purpose, an understanding that our lives have meaning, and a realization that we exist for more than our short time here on this planet.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. – Ephesians 1:7-10, ESV
Everything I described with respect to a valid plan is true of God. Paul reminds us that there is a plan for the “fullness of time” that will unite all things in Christ Jesus. We have evidence that the plan is working because we have been redeemed, we have been forgiven, and we have had His grace lavished upon us. Also, we can remember that the Holy Spirit provides us insight and wisdom to glimpse a bit at this overall master plan from time-to-time.
In the craziness of the day-to-day it is easy to lose sight that God’s sovereign will has prevailed, is prevailing, and will continue to prevail. When tragedy or loss hits us, it’s natural to lose sight of the fact that everything is still ultimately under His control. The plan isn’t broken, just our vision. When that happens, we can regain our confidence because we are warned that these types of craziness and the events that cause us such pain are to be expected. God has taken them into account and He will succeed in the face of them. Scripture tells us this and reinforces that God does deliver with the examples of those whose lives are recorded therein putting their faith into action.
Be encouraged, for there is a master plan. For those who have believed, we are redeemed and forgiven. We can obtain glimpses of the master plan to reassure us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can receive and acknowledge His love and grace. Finally, we can take comfort because we know how the master plan will conclude. He has revealed that to us in the Scriptures. Look past the craziness, the unfairness of the world, and whatever personal pains you are currently suffering through. Look past to gaze upon God and His plan that will come to pass in the fullness of time. He will not fail.