What to remember when the road to blessing is painful

Sometimes God’s plans for our good can hurt. God often removes something that will eventually kill me, just as a surgeon removes a tumor. The end is always good, but the cutting can hurt.

God's Plans Are Better Than Mine

It was not until every single one of my plans collapsed that I realized I am not in control of my calendar, nor should I desire that responsibility. God had to erase my calendar completely for me to see that it wasn't working. He intentionally removed people, things, desires, and passions from my life to protect me, encourage me and draw me closer to Him. Please do not misunderstand: God is not a mean or selfish God. In fact, God is jealous. He loves each and every one of us so passionately that He is jealous for our affection. "Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God" (Exodus 34:14). He is quite simply and indefinitely in love with you so much that He clearly desires the best in every area of your life and will remove anything that gets in the way of that.

But God is better. He is better than my plans, He is better than your plans, and He is better than anything we treasure.

So why is it that difficult, terrible, challenging and sometimes life-threatening things still tend to happen to us? If God is so in love with us and longs to prosper us, then why does He still allow people to get cancer, lose their jobs or even die young? Questions I am sure we all have asked and events I am positive we all have endured. Jesus answers that best in John 10:10. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

God may allow you to lose a good friend, your job, a loved one, specific passions and/or a treasured talent or ability. I will not lie to you and say that with God your life will be perfectly peachy. But God is better. He is better than my plans, He is better than your plans, and He is better than anything I treasure. "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me" (Psalm 18:16-19).

Blessing Often ComesThrough Pain

I promise you are going to feel pain, endure harm and suffer loss, but it says in His Word that "in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). God knows every single thing that has, is, and will happen to you and He is in complete control of it. "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). Trust Him with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5), believe He truly wants great things for you (2 Samuel 22:36), and take joy in the trials (James 1:2-4), "'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). You can count on God's promise and know that if it is not good, God is not done.

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