The Faith to Look Beyond Our Circumstances

When circumstances look bleak, how can we trust that God has a plan for our lives?

Posted in , Sep 8, 2016

a woman facing dire circumstances

There are times when we feel as if our circumstances will never change. We are unable to look beyond the crisis, troubles, problems or inactivity in our lives. We desperately look for a sign or message that tells us everything will be alright; that things will improve and get better.

When in this mindset, I think back to a story I once heard about a family out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal, everyone cracked open their fortune cookie and read their message out loud. However, the youngest child did not; instead she got up from the table and came back with another fortune cookie. This happened several times before the mom stopped her and asked, “What are you doing?” The small child responded, “I am looking for a cookie with the right fortune for me.” The mom turned to her and said, “There is only one thing you need to know and it’s not in a fortune cookie…God has a good plan for your life.”

When things are not going our way, we too may search for the “right fortune.” We seek hope for our future so that it will be better than the present. When the Israelis were displaced in a foreign country against their will, they did just that. Exiled in Babylon far from their home and place of worship, everything was strange: food, landscape, culture, and traditions. The people felt defeated and depressed and desperately turned to their religious leader for a message of hope. They were told that they would return quickly to their home land, but this was not true, giving them false hope. 

Then a letter arrived from the prophet of Jerusalem, Jeremiah, instructing the people to engage in their new environment and seek the wellbeing of the city. They were going to be there for a long time, but blessings would soon come their way. “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.”

God was turning a bleak situation into an opportunity of faith, personal and community growth. Believing that God has a plan beyond our circumstances, takes faith, trust and hope. It does not come without its ups and downs, but it does prove that good things do come out of bad and difficult situations because God hasn’t and never will forget about us. Where do you turn to for hope? Please share with us. 

Lord, I don’t always understand your plans or ways; help me to trust them and most importantly to trust You. 

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