When we’re overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, trusting God’s good plans can be difficult. Challenges and setbacks settle over us like a heavy fog, obscuring hope for the future. In the haze, we’re tempted to ask, “Lord, is this all You have for me?”
Yet when we raise our heads above pressing needs and noise, we can gain heavenly perspective and delight in God’s purposes for our lives.
Imagine God at creation. He was thinking about you as He splashed colors across the landscape and breathed life into the world. He was creating habitation for you to enjoy and thrive in. And yet He had far more planned than a pleasant place for you to live. God already had significant work in mind for you to partake in with Him. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Have you ever worked for an employer who did not do a good job of setting you up for success? On the other hand, if you have worked for someone dedicated to your progress and growth, it makes a world of difference. You can delight in your work — even in the challenges — knowing it is an opportunity to learn and mature. This is how it is with God’s calling on your life. He wants you to succeed and delight in your endeavors.
You see, when God made our world’s countless, stunning creations, He centered on humanity. We are His masterpiece, and He uniquely equipped you with what you need to partake in His purposes. When you doubt God’s plans or your ability to walk in them, remember that He is sufficient and on your side. 2 Peter 1:3 assures us, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.”
If you have ever embarked on an arduous hike, run a marathon, or participated in any other highly physical challenge, you understand how fatigue can give way to doubt. The same is true with every hard thing we pursue in life. Perhaps you’ve been faithfully plugging away in ministry or a career, and your soul, mind, or body have grown tired. When we feel weak, we’re vulnerable to misgivings. We might ask, “Did God really call me to this?” It’s wise to pause, rest, and prayerfully reassess what God might have you involved in. Sometimes, He might ask us to step away for a time of restoration. However, as many runners in a race will attest to, quitting on an uphill is not good.
Instead, we can faithfully and prayerfully persevere on a rugged stretch of life, knowing that our insufficiency highlights God’s sufficiency. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
This Scripture does not say that we add anything to God’s power. In the original Greek language, “perfected” means to fulfill, complete, or carry through to completion. We are the vessel in which God carries His power through to completion so that others around us can glimpse God’s handiwork, knowing whatever we accomplish does not come from ourselves but is a product of God’s divine strength.
In Ephesians 2:10, we read that God prepared good works for us long ago “that we should walk in them.” In the preceding verses, the author, Paul, wrote about our redemption in Christ. We can do good works because we are saved by grace through faith in Christ! He began the section in Ephesians 2:1-2 by explaining our life apart from Christ. He wrote, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world….”
Without Christ, we follow “the course of this world.” Yet, as we set our hope on Him, we follow a new course illuminated by an eternal perspective. We live in a society following the course of this world, and it’s easy to become distracted and lose hope. Yet when we do, God will graciously redirect us back to His plans and purposes. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
We don’t need to be consumed by the world’s affairs or fearful of disasters around us. Instead, fixing our eyes on Jesus, we can persevere in His strength. We can be confident that we are His masterpiece created for good works and delight in His plans and future for us.