When Dreams Break Apart

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).

When we’re young, parents and teachers give us sound advice as they encourage us to develop a career plan and then “stay on course.” Along the way, we develop bigger plans with increased expectations. But somewhere along the way, the bubble bursts, and the dreams disappear. What happened to our plans? To answer this question, we need to keep a few things in mind:

1. God leads us according to His wise plan, but does not reveal it all in advance.
We should take comfort in this. Our plan may have been derailed, but God’s did not. Things continue to move forward, though not as we might have imagined.

God always acts in wisdom, but also in power. That means He brings about what He desires:

“Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6).

When events and circumstances disrupt our life, we become surprised because things did not turn out like we thought they would. But this reaction is based on what we didn’t know about God’s plan for our life, not what we did.

2. Disruptions in life teach us to trust in God, our one constant in life.
Yes, life brings many unpleasant changes, but these changes teach us to turn to the things that do not change, such as God’s love and care for us. When chaos strikes, we need to turn to the One who does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), and to the One who cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). Our security comes from Him, not the things in this life that may change.

3. We need to welcome, and not fight, God’s will for our life.
When life brings uncomfortable changes our way, we need to trust that God has a wise plan, one that will turn out well in the end. We should not fight against God, nor run from Him to do our own thing. One day we will look back and see His wisdom in ordering our lives according to His gracious purpose. 

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