SPIRITUAL INSIGHTS thisispage17thisispage17PAGE 17

God’s Plan for You: A Future of Success Filled with Hope

By Marlon B. Raquel

When Pastor Larry Tomines invited me to speak during the 3rd Monthly Students‘ Fellowship at C5 Annex Campus on August 22, 2011, I was hesi-tant at first to accept the invitation so I prayed to the Lord what shall I do. I knew from the start that God would use me to share His words to our students at C5 so I then accepted it eventu-ally.

I used the verse written in Jeremiah 29:11 – my favourite Biblical verse. Let me quote it in three different versions and in two languages.

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."–New International Version

"I will bless you with a future filled with hope – a future of success, not of suffering." –Contemporary English Version

"Ako lamang ang nakaaalam ng mga panukalang inihahanda ko para sa ikabubuti ninyo, at para dulutan kayo ng pag-asa sa hinaharap." –Tagalog Popular Version

What a beautiful verse! From this verse, I started to share three insights that God had impressed me.

First is that as Christians, there is a presence of relationship between God and us.

When we talk of relationship, we always think of two persons understanding each other. You cannot share sensitive things to a person unless he or she is your friend, a trusted friend. Likewise, parents of our friends cannot make plans for our fu-ture. It is only our parents who think and plan for our success in the future. So when God tells you that He has plans for you, be joyful! It means that God considers you as His son or daughter. Are there times you feel like no one cares for you? Are there times when you realize that no one understands you as you go to bed? And as you leave your home, you always think that your life is going nowhere? My friend, you are one of the most privileged individuals in the world. God is speaking to you right now. He talks to you because you are important to Him. God is fully aware that there is a relationship that ex-ists between you and Him, therefore, you must also realize that this relationship entitles you to confide to God your deep-est secrets, your happy moments with your friends, your frustrations with your mother who always nags at you, or your frustrations with your studies. Your relationship with the Lord is the most important thing you can have in this ephemeral world.

Second, God prepares plans for us. He thinks of our future.

God is the Lord not just in the ancient times, not just today, but of the future as well. Being His child entitles you of many benefits. It is Him Who plans for your future. God designs the blueprint to which we must follow. A captain of a ship has a compass which guides him as his ship sails in the seas. A tourist has a map which shows directions of different places. Like-wise, God‘s plan is your roadmap to success. No matter how you exert all your efforts doing everything to achieve success in life, if you put God aside, that would be meaningless. It is comforting to know that there is someone who is thinking of your future.

I remember few years ago when I was in my fourth year in high school, my father told me that I wouldn‘t be able to enter college because of financial difficulties. I could not accept what I heard from him. I knew from my heart that my father wanted me to get a college degree but he couldn‘t help me. That was the time when I started to attend Bible studies con-ducted in my boarding house and I started to hear the word of the Lord for the first time in my life. So I said, "Lord, if you really exist and that you really know the needs of my family, you will not forget me. You will let me enter college and get a college degree." Alas, God heard my prayers! I had encountered a lot of trials and problems as a student but that did not hinder me from achieving my dreams. There were countless school days when I attended my classes without taking break-fasts. I deliberately skipped lunch meals just to save several pesos which I would eventually use for photocopies of my read-ings. It was a sacrifice but I constantly held on to the promise of God that ?He will never leave me nor forsake me.? You can do the same. Why should you believe? Because God says so, and when He says a promise, .... (Turn to page 18).