“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
I cannot possibly put a number on how many times I have heard people of all stripes blamed God for tragic events that have occurred in their lives. It is a common practice for people to blame God for unexpected tragedy or natural disaster. Christian or secular, the question is always; why? Why did God allow this or that? Why did God send this or that? Why? Why? Why didn’t God stop this or that? Some people even attempt to use tragic events to prove there is no God.
Frankly speaking, I do not think you should blame God for anything. He is a fair and just God, and whatever He promises He will do. In the days of Noah, He promised a great flood and the flood came. In the days of Abraham, He promised to destroy Sodom and He did.
God never promised us earthquakes, and tornadoes, typhoons and tsunami. He never promised diseases—heart attack, brain tumor or cancer. He promises eternal life and eternal damnation: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (John 6:23). “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).
Recently I stumbled upon a religious radio program—just in time to hear the preacher‘s comments on a friend of his whose wife was stricken with cancer. The preacher stated that his friend approached him and asks him why God allowed his wife to get cancer. His response was rather surprising! I thought he was going to say he did not know; as that would have been my choice, and the easy way out. Instead, the preacher said he told his friend that sickness and disease are not in God’s plan for us. He then quoted Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).That is reassuring? I thought to myself. I suddenly realized that all the myths and misconceptions about God are a result of lack of knowledge about God’s Word.
God is a just God; He will never do anything that He did not promise. Tragedy and disaster brings misery but misery is not in God’s blueprint for us.
- God’s Daily Promise – #11 (sharinhislove.wordpress.com)
“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Therefore, Lord, I pray that you would direct my steps. Lead me in your light, teach me your way, so I would walk in your truth. I pray that I would have a closer walk with you and an ever progressing hunger for your word.
May your presence be like a delicacy I never cease to crave. Lead me on your path and make me quick to confess when I stray from it. Reveal to me any hidden sin that would hinder me from walking rightly before you. Lord, bring me to a place of deep repentance when I do not live in obedience to your laws.
Lord, Your word says that those who are in the flesh cannot please you (Romans 8:8). So I pray that you will enable me to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh and thereby keep myself ”from the path of the destroyer” (Psalm 17:4). As I walk in the Spirit, may I bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:23,23). Keep me on the Highway of Holiness so that the way I walk will be integrated into every part of my life.
Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:1,2).
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shut his eyes from seeing evil; he will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure (Isaiah 33:15,16).
Lord, may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speak the truth in his heart (Psalm 15:1,2).
My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me (Psalm 101:6)
There is much talk and false prediction about when our Lord and Savior shall return for His people. But as Matthew 24:36 tells us, no man knows the hour. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only (Matthew 24:36). God cannot lie. Therefore, those who pretend to know the hour the Son of Man shall appear are, in essence, challenging the validity of Scripture. “And The Lord said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in My Name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14 RSV).
The Word of God consistently explains itself. Let us turn to Matthew 7 : 15-23 ”Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your Name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you evildoers.” (Matthew 7:15-23 RSV)
How do you know a false prophet? Anyone who twist, alter or distort the Word of God. For example, a couple of months ago, some professing prophet was on TV predicting the end of the world. That in itself is sacrilegious, and should have raised doubt in any true believer’s mind, because God cannot lie. He tells us in his Word that no man knows the hour when He shall return. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’ (2 peter 3 : 10).
None of us can live without a vision for our future. If we don’t have one, we flounder aimlessly. Without a vision, life seems pointless and we die a little every day. “Where there is no vision the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18)
Having a vision doesn’t necessarily means knowing the specifics about what is going to happen next. It has to do with sensing the general direction you are moving in and having hope that something good is on the horizon. It is knowing that you do have a future and a purpose, and that it is bright.
Not every man have that certainty. When he doesn’t, you can almost see life draining from him. Even the ones who do, do not necessarily have it all the time. Even the most spiritual man can get overtired, burned out, beaten down, distanced from God, confused about who he his and why he is here, and lose his vision for the future. He can misplace his sense of purpose and become overwhelmed and hopeless because of it. If he loses sight of his dreams and forgets the truth about himself and his situation, he can end up believing destructive lies about his future. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
God says not to listen to voices that speak lies, for “they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:16). Any vision for the future that is full of failure and empty of hope is not from God (Jeremiah 29:11). But God can restore vision where it has been lost. He can give hope to dream again. He can give His truth to bear upon the lies of discouragement. He can give assurance of a promising future. Prayer is the avenue through which He can accomplish it.
We have to remember that father God has drawn up His will. His estate is divided equally among His children. All that He has, we will have. “We are “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ: (Romans 8:17). I have read my copy of the will and it says we do not have the slightest idea of what God has in store for us. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the thing which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). It promises that “the blameless will inherit good” (Proverbs 28:10). It says that not only will we have everything we need in this life, but the most significant part will be ours. Then we will be with Him and we will want nothing more.
God does not want us to know the future, He wants us to know Him. He wants to trust Him to guide us into the future one step at a time. In order to understand God’s leading , we must t seek him for every step. “Those who seek the Lord understand all” (Proverbs 28:5).
Children are an inheritance from the Lord that bring blessing , as well as responsibility into the home. The bible revealed that Jesus loved children and referred to their faith as a blue print of that which is necessary for us to do to enter into the kingdom of of heaven. (Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven….Matthew 18:3). It was in this same breath of this proclamation that He also condemn anyone who willfully injure or harm a child. (Matthew 18:-10…Luke 18:15-17).
Despite the special place of children in the heart of God, recent history has not been so kind to them, particularly before birth. Since the 1980s the Center for Disease Control and prevention has recorded the number of surgical procedures that resulted in abortion to be well over one million per year. Although issues surrounding abortion are quite complex, this estimate of lives terminated before their time is staggering and heart-rending.
There are various theological and scientific arguments put forward as to precisely when a fetus constitutes a person. The big question however, is when does life begins?
Several scriptural references do touch the surface and deserve at best a hearing. Firstly, the sixth commandment forbids killing (Exodus 30:13), while the shedding of innocent blood is listed among the seven deadly sins hated by the Lord (Proverbs 6:16-18). In the calling of the prophet Jeremiah, God declared that he was known before he had been formed in the belly and was sanctified and ordained as a prophet before thou camest forth out of the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). While John the Baptist was in the womb awaiting birth, he leaped for joy when he heard the greeting received by his mother from the Virgin Mary who was herself carrying the Christ Child at the time (Luke 1:41-44). These passages tend to be very troublesome for those who argue against the right of the unborn.
According to scriptures, the sanctity of life is of high priority but abortion is a subject matter of high complexity, not as easily judged as some would suppose. Even among Christians there is debate as to whether fetal abortion is ever justified, e.g., when the mother’s life is endangered by a pregnancy. NB: My use of this example is neither to condone the act nor to further confound the issue, but rather to point out its difficulties and thereby emphasize the greater need to minister with compassion to those who have experienced the crisis.
Whether chosen as an alternative to an unwanted pregnancy, or as a last resort to save life, the reality of abortion is traumatic for women who experience it. Hence their desperate need for support and not harsh criticism.