Greater Good and Greater Glory

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If there have been events in your life that you hadn’t planned on, remember that they were written down before your days began. Those “disruptions” were part of God’s plan.

Psalm 139:16

What does it take to believe—really believe—that God’s plans are not altered by seeming random events in life? And beyond that, what does it take to believe that those seeming random events are not random at all, but somehow have their own place in the plan of God? Answers can come from two ends of the experience spectrum.

First, there are those Christians whose lives were touched by tragedy out of which has flowed great good for many. When the young missionary Jim Elliot and his companions were cut down by the spears of the Stone Age Indians they were trying to win to Christ, the attention of the whole world was riveted on the power of the gospel.

Or think of Joni Eareckson Tada, injured as a teenager in a diving accident that turned her into a quadriplegic. From her accident came a new depth of spiritual richness that has issued forth in books, art, music, and advocacy for the disabled. Often a change of plans results in a greater good on earth.

But on the other end of life’s disrupted plans are those the public never hears about. No movies are made, books written, or movements started in response to the disrupted plans of many faithful believers. It is not always for a greater, or more visible, good that plans are changed. But it is always for the greater glory of God. When God’s people trust in him in the face of tragedy and change, heaven is awash in waves of glory. Why? Because of what the psalmist David wrote: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” What some call passive resignation to fate God calls active participation by faith. Yielding to what the day brings is saying “Yes” to the One who brings the day. And in such speaking is God glorified.

If there have been events in your life that you hadn’t planned on, remember that they were written down before your days began. That means—however difficult it is to wrap human reasoning around it—those “disruptions” were part of God’s plan. Greater good and greater glory always confirm the day of the faithful.

God’s Promise to You: “Your days, written down in my book, hold no surprises for me.”

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