Plans

“The Lord will work out His plans for my life –
for Your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. 
Don’t abandon me, for You made me.”

‭Psalms‬ ‭138:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What are God’s plans for my life? I look back in my life and see at times how a potentially chaotic situation resolved into a good result. How a far from ideal life-choice I made somehow became something better. Was God working out His plans for my life? Gently and persuasively whispering in my ear, “Not that way, better this way”? 

The Psalmist was clear in today’s verse. Because God’s love for each one of us is faithful and ever-enduring, He will work out in our lives what He wants us to do. He has plans for each one of us. And David, the Psalmist, says why – because He made us. But we look around us, at our nation, at world events. We see the ravages of the pandemic. We see wars and conflicts. We see persecution, the ill-treatment of our Christian brothers and sisters, and ask the question, “Where are God’s plans in all this?” This is a world in the grip of sin. And a sobering thought is that it would be infinitely worse without God working out His plans in the lives of His servants. Because He made us. Because He loves us. As we work out God’s plans in our societies and communities, we are “salt and light” bringing peace to where there is no peace. Bringing God’s presence into a godless world.

There is a day coming, when all His plans will have been completed. Job done. But as the Psalmist says, God’s love for us will still be there. It endures forever. God will never abandon us. Our lives on this planet will end and instead transition into a wonderful life with Him.

Promises

“I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
    I will sing your praises before the gods.
I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
    I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
    by all the honour of your name.”
Psalm 138:1-2 NLT

David is back behind the writer’s desk; another Psalm emerging from the experiences of His long life with God. Right at the start of this Psalm, he declares that he doesn’t care what people might think. He will sing praises to God regardless. And we certainly found that in the passage in 2 Samuel 6 where David, wearing nothing other than a linen ephod, danced in front of the Ark as it was brought to his city. As he said later in the chapter, “I was dancing before the Lord“. He didn’t care that his wife was unimpressed. And neither did he care about the “gods” other people worshipped. 

David declared that he would praise God for His “unfailing love and faithfulness”. Because, and here’s the thing, God’s promises are backed by His name. In this country, an arrest of a criminal might take place with the phrase “I arrest you in the name of the Law”. And I have in front of me a Scottish banknote which says, “The Royal Bank of Scotland promises to pay the bearer on demand…”. But both the Law and the Bank cannot guarantee 100% of the time that they can fulfil their promises, because the name of both has limitations. The “name of the Law” means nothing in a state of anarchy. The Bank might go bust, and unable to pay out. Now, the Creator of the Universe and everything within it – God Himself – His name has weight. If God makes a promise, and the Bible is full of them, then that promise will be delivered. No doubts. And when He puts His name behind the promise, the result is absolute.

So it’s no wonder that David gives thanks to the Lord with all his heart. And sings His praises. On our pilgrimage through life, God’s promises ring in our ears. Make a step – thank You God for Your love for me.  Make another step – thank You God for Jesus. Make another step – thank You God for Your faithfulness. And somehow the rigors of our journey becomes easier, step by step. As we call out to God in response to His promises, He delights in us and our faith. His promises are not green-backs – they are God-backs. Worth so much more.