When Life Shakes Up Your Plans
by John Clark
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Has life ever shaken up your plans? It has mine. Recently I was displaced from my job because the client for whom I worked closed down their business. My company had no place to put me. I was forced to make some changes in my life, like signing up for social security benefits much sooner than I had planned. You say, that is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my case, I had definite reasons why I wanted to wait until I was 70 to enlist in the program. Then I made plans to go on short term unemployment until my social security started about five weeks later, but I got a letter stating that because of government backlog I would not get my first check until three to five weeks. That REALLY shook up my plans. The result of this is that right now as I am posting this article I am without a job and without benefits. As Christians, we must always remember that there is a God element involved in what happens in our lives. However, there are also things we must do in a practical way, seeking God's wisdom as we move forward. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Do what you can do with what is within your control.
2. Ask God for wisdom and make decisions out of faith, not out of fear.
3. Remember, God may be at work behind the scenes on your behalf. Just because nothing appears to be happening does not mean that God is not at work. What happened to you did not catch God by surprise. He knows the end from the beginning.
4. Place your stability in God, not in money or in a job. He is able and willing to supply your needs. We may have to trust him day by day.
5. If you have suffered a loss, ask the question, "What do I have left?" Be thankful for what you do have.
6. Don't try to figure everything out. Do not lean upon your own understanding, but acknowledge God and he will direct your paths.
7. Move in a direction that you believe is the best, and if that does not work out trust God for HIS best. His best is better than your best.
8. Pray and read the Bible consistently. Stay focused on God's principles.
9. Remember that God's ways are not always our ways and His thoughts are not always our thoughts. His ways and thoughts are on a higher level than ours.
10. Hold on tenaciously to the following verses of scripture:
* Psalms 31:9 tells us that God stores up goodness.
* Proverbs 3:5-6 says to not rely upon your own understanding but in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
* Isaiah 33:6 reminds us that God is our stability and a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
* Isaiah 41:10 says to not look anxiously about you.
* Isaiah 43:19 tells us that God can do something new and make a "roadway in the wilderness."
* Isaiah 45:1-3 encourages one to remember that God can and will go before us and open doors, make the rough places smooth, and disclose the treasures of secret places.
* Isaiah 64:3-4 says that God will act on your behalf.
* Jeremiah 42:3 has this to say: God's Holy Spirit will tell you what to do and where to go. The question here is, "Are you listening and free of distraction?"
* Ephesians 3:20, which is my life verse, says that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly much more than we can ask or think.
* Philiippians 4:7 tells us to seek God's peace which passes all human understanding and will guard one's mind and heart from making poor decisions.
So, when life shakes up my plans and your plans, we should seek God's ways and put confidence in the stability of His word. Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
(PS. 9/16/14. I have come through this time, and God met my needs in unexpected ways.)
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Amen to that. These kind of things can be very difficult & challenging. Yet in these times are the seeds of pressing in close to the Lord, of the refining process. In them, we learn to trust Him deeper and to be more compassionate and empathetic with others! The refining process does not come without pain but it has the potential to yield better than pure gold!