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How to trust God’s plans for you

How can you learn to trust God’s plans for you, asks Fr Alvan Ibeh in his latest Voice of Hope series.

“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)

Imagine someone coming to you to say they have got plans for you. Naturally, the next thing will be for you to ask what sort of plan it is. We will only have peace of mind once such a plan is revealed. We would want to know whether it is a good plan or a bad one, and until that certainty is established, we will find it challenging to trust whatever plan the person has for us, especially if it is someone not known to us. In other words, we can never trust the person’s plan for us until we see it.

But God, in Jeremiah 29:11, promises us that He has plans for us. His plans manifest in different situations we find ourselves in, even though He never reveals what precisely those plans may be. Still, he assures us that they are perfect plans – they are plans to prosper us and not to harm us. But do we need God to reveal what His plans are for us in every situation of our lives for us to believe that He has plans for us? Or do we need to believe in His promises and trust that no matter the situation, we find ourselves, He has plans for us.

One thing is sure, “if God should show us the whole journey, we would never even take the first step”. When I decided to become a priest, if God had sat me down and revealed what He was planning for me, I think I would have changed my mind and thought of something else. Had it been God that told me that part of His plan for me to become a priest was to be involved in an accident that would almost claim my life and then subject me to years of excruciating pain, psychological trauma and so on, I would have stood up and said to Him, “Dear God, I know you have good plans for me, but if I must pass through all these just to be a priest, I better say No to the call to priesthood and then have my peace of mind.”

One thing is clear, dear friends; God may not reveal His plans to us; he does not need to give us any explanation as to why certain things are happening in our lives (He owes us no explanation); if not, we will not see any reason to trust in and wait on Him. All He wants is for us to trust wholeheartedly in His plans. God is saying, “All you need to do is trust my plan and timing”. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not rely on your own insight. In all you do acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path”. We have to trust in His plan and timing, knowing fully well that there has never been anyone who trusted in His plans that He failed – I, for one, am a living testimony to that.

Today, I look back to those years when I questioned God’s plans for me when I was wondering if God had plans for me and what they were, and I give Him all the glory and praise. This is because I have now come to understand why it was necessary that I should have passed through those rough times to be where I am today. I now see that in all my pains, there was a plan, and I have always learnt to accept God’s plans for me to be far and above better than mine. I have come to believe beyond every reasonable doubt that no matter what is happening around me, it is for a reason, and God has a plan. Remember, when we are down to nothing, God is up to something.

Is it not a wonderful thing to know that God has a plan for our lives? That He has our entire life mapped out for us in advance? God did not just create us and put us here on earth and then remove himself from our lives. No, He is involved in every detail of our lives. There is no assurance that trusting in God’s plans for us will be easy. We will face challenges for sure, but the good news is that through those challenges, we will see the goodness of God and learn more about His character. May the grace to trust in His plans and timing continue to abound in our lives, amen.