"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."
This is a favorite verse for so many. It resonates with a hope we all long for. Who doesn't want the reassurance that God's plans for us are good? Without a doubt, God's individual plans for us are unique. He didn't use a cookie cutter when he created each of us. His plans for all of us in this life are as diversified as our shapes, sizes, colors, personalities, and backgrounds.
That said, I believe there are universal plans that he has had for us since the day we took our first breath. First and foremost, I think his primary plan for each of us is that we know him personally. He doesn't want to be a distant figure that we run to only when we get in over our heads. He wants to be intimately involved in our daily lives.
We read how God's plan is to prosper and not harm us. Our limited scope sees the word "prosper" and visualizes dollar signs and material possessions. But I don't think that is what he is referring to. I think he longs to prosper us in eternal and spiritual dividends. The only way this is going to happen is if we know him ~ really know him. And the only way we can really know him is to have a close relationship with him. Yes, we can know about him without that relationship. But to know him the way we know the people we are closest to is a whole different experience.
When we enter into that relationship with him, our eternal futures are sealed. It's a done deal. The future and hope he has planned for us is so much more expansive than our human minds can grasp. Yes, he wants good things for us while we take this journey in our earthly lives. But the hope and future he has for us is so much grander than anything we have ever experienced or imagined.
God's plans for us are good ~ very good! All he asks is that we take the step of faith and walk in fellowship with him. When I think about it, it boggles my mind ~ the God of the Universe wants to have a close relationship with me??? Beyond amazing...almost too good to be true. Yet that is his deepest desire...and his grandest plan for each and every one of us.
"It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it, found yourselves home free ~ signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life."
~Ephesians 1:11-14, The Message