Has God Forgotten?
By Jennifer Slattery –
About six years ago, our family went through a period of unemployment. Trying to stay out of debt, we sold our house, loaded our belongings into storage, and moved into a five-hundred-square-foot, rent-by-the-month apartment. In that moment, it would have been easy to allow our circumstances to swallow us in despair, to show the watching world our faith centered on life-events and not on an unchanging, ever-loving, sovereign God. And yet, praise God, His all-powerful Spirit penetrated past our fears, doubts, and sadness to our core, drawing us to His side. Reminding us of His bigger plan—a plan He promises to work out despite, perhaps even in the midst of, our dark hours. In fact, it can be those very events that nearly break us that ultimately prepare us for or lead us to God’s plan for our lives.
Think of Joseph and imagine what must have gone though his mind after his brothers sold him into slavery. How could they? Why him? It wasn’t fair!
Then there’s David, anointed by Samuel to be the king of Israel, later hiding out in caves in fear for his life.
Was God still in that, or had He lifted His Sovereign hand?
And what about Paul as Roman officers bound him in Acts 27? Was his ministry done? Thwarted? Delayed?
If you read these Scripture accounts carefully, you’ll realize God was in control all along, working out His divine plan, placing His children where He needed them to be, when they were ready to be there.
Let’s look at Joseph:
He was sold into slavery, falsely accused of attempted rape, and thrown into prison. Place yourself in his position. You’ve been stripped of your family, your possessions, your very dignity and quite frankly, the situation appears hopeless. There’s no constitutional right to a trial by jury, or a trial at all, for that matter. In fact, quite likely the one who threw you into prison has forgotten about you completely. Human logic tells you it’s all over. Hope is gone. You will spend the rest of your life, forgotten, in a damp prison cell.
But truth tells you a different story. God, the author of all truth says He will never leave you nor forsake you. He says even now, cowering in a damp cell with each day merging with the next, He sees you, and thinks of you. Not only does He think of you, but His thoughts toward you outnumber the very sands on the shore—which means He thinks of you constantly. He’s not leaving you to rot. Quite the opposite. He’s lovingly, carefully, attentively molding you into His masterpiece, making you into the person He already sees you to be.
What about David? Had the sinful behavior of others—those who sought his life—hindered God’s plan? Or does God’s sovereignty and very good plan continue, despite the failings of sinful man? Could each step, each hardship, each hurdle, actually be part of His very good plan—a plan that will one day place us in positions of authority (Joseph) and honor (David), speaking to powerful rulers (Paul)?
Meditate on the following verse today and hold tight to it the next time trials and temptations come your way. This is God’s promise to you.
“‘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’” (Jeremiah 29:11).