“For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
What an amazing statement! God not only sees us, but He has a specific plan- a GOOD plan- for each of us. It’s true that it doesn’t always feel that way… As it turns out, the prophet who wrote that scripture was delivering a message to the people of Israel at a time when they were feeling pretty hopeless. But God gave both them and us that clear message to help us all face the future with confidence no matter what.
The devil is steadily trying to discourage us all by getting us to focus on the wrong stuff. He would have us fixate on what’s going wrong, or what we don’t have or can’t do.
But in addition to telling us point blank that He has good things in store, the Lord also gave us some tools to fight back against the devil’s schemes, and one of them is praise.
When we take God at His word- specifically that He has good plans for us- it inspires thankfulness in us. Then, when we thank Him for that plan, and for caring so much about us, and for helping us through the hard stuff on the way to that hopeful future, it doesn’t leave much room for discouragement. In fact, those lies the devil peddles can’t even penetrate our hearts when we make a practice of recognizing all that God has done and promised to do. So, start making it a part of how you kick off your day:
When you wake up in the morning, start praising and thanking God for what He is going to do with you. (excerpt from Getting Understanding pt. 1 by Dr. Chester C. Pipkin)
When you set the tone this way, it puts you in a position to resist the devil’s attacks and be ready to fulfill the purposes God has for your life.