“’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.’”
A few months ago, my mom and I began taking a 15 week class at Southeast Christian Church called Perspectives. It has been amazing, and I highly recommend it for people like myself who are interested in doing mission work. The past few weeks of the class have been about how God has been working throughout all history. It has been very amazing to see how even when things looked like they were falling apart, God had a plan. This got me thinking about our world today. We could easily become fearful and depressed about what our world is coming to. Just watching five minutes of the news would prove that this world is far from what God first created it to be. But even though to us the world seems to be falling apart, God has a plan. He takes things that are falling apart and uses them to glorify and proclaim His name.
There are many examples of this in the Bible and throughout all history. One example is when Jerusalem was captured by the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. Three of the many people he captured happened to be Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, whom he renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. The king commanded all the people to bow down and worship an idol, but these three men refused. Because of this, the king had them thrown into the fire, but they didn’t burn. The Bible says the fire had no power over them. Not only did they not burn, but in the fire with them was Jesus. After seeing this, King Nebuchadnezzar made a new law saying that everyone would only worship the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (Daniel 2:8-30). I’m sure you’ve probably heard that story before, but have you ever really thought about how it could have been really easy for those three guys to think that God had forsaken them? They had been captured and forced to leave their homeland. Then they were commanded to bow down to an idol, something strictly forbidden by God. They could have decided to bow down to the idol, but decided to trust that God had a plan. Because of this choice, the king began worshiping God and declaring His name to his kingdom. What an amazing story!
Even though at our point of view the world seems to be falling apart, we need to learn to trust God’s plan the same way Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did. God is working among us in ways we may or may not see. The closer we look, the more we will see Him working. For example, my mom and I learned in our class that there are more people coming to Christ this time in history than ever before! That proves that God has not forsaken us and never will. Hebrews 13:5 says, “For He Himself has said, “’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” God has a plan, and it is our job to trust it.