Three Things to Remember When Plans Go Awry

Hannibal Smith from the A-Team loves when “a plan comes together” and so do I. But what should we do when a plan goes awry?

Recently, I read a plan aimed at teenagers in the YouVersion Bible app. It was from Switch and entitled “God’s Plan for you Life.”

On the fifth day of the plan, I encountered the truths I’m sharing here. They really had me stopping to think, reflect and pray. Isn’t that what devotional reading should do?

The Text

The scripture associated with this reading was Jeremiah 29:1-14. I hope you’ll open your Bible and read it before you continue reading here. You’re sure to see a familiar verse or two.

Those were the ones the writer of the plan focused on, too. The one that jumped out at me:

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

Jeremiah 29:8

This year has been a cacophony of plans gone awry for most of the residents of our world. Travel plans got cancelled. Regular daily activities got halted. Anxiety rose for many people. Relationships weren’t cancelled but some of them felt distant like there was a giant “hold” button pressed above us.

And I wondered if I had been dreaming the wrong dreams and God was resetting them for me. Check out the end of Jeremiah 29:8 “do not listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed” (NKJV).

Since I’ve been facing career setbacks and dream derailment for months, this jumped off the page and into my heart. Have I been listening to false dreams? Had I stopped following God’s plan and begun trailblazing my own?

If so, I should be thankful things went off track with those misguided dreams. I’d rather be in the center of God’s will.

Maybe you have been in His will, but it still feels like your plans are sidelined.

The Tools

Since our perspective comes from a lower place, we often don’t and can’t see God’s plan. Here are some things we can remember during those seasons:

  1. Good plans take time. In our text, God told Israel they would have to wait seventy years to see the realization of their deepest, truest dreams and plans. Let’s hope that isn’t a standard “waiting period,” but even if it is, God’s plan is better than anything we might concoct.
  2. Waiting seasons aren’t wasted seasons. It’s clear from this passage that God expected His people to be working during this season of waiting. He specifically directed them to promote peace and prosperity in the place they were living (a land of captivity). Wherever we are, God wants to use us to complete His Kingdom work.
  3. God’s plans are good. The familiar verse from this passage reminds us that God has good plans for us. No matter what it “feels” like, we can trust that God’s good plans await us on the other side of the waiting room.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Jeremiah 29:11

Maybe your plan is on track. Don’t forget to thank the Lord for blessing you with fruition. All good things come from Him (James 1:17). And don’t get too smug, your season of derailment will come–eventually–because that’s how our faith grows.

What verse from Jeremiah 29 spoke to you today? How can you remember God in this season of your life?

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