IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES
TOPIC: THOUGHTS OF PEACE FOR MY FUTURE AND MY EXPECTED END
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and an expected end.”
These words were written by Jeremiah in a letter to the captives in Babylon. A considerable number of the people of Israel were carried away by Nebuchadnezzar into a far country. They were exhorted by the prophet to build houses, form families, and to live peaceably there until the Lord should lead them back at the end of seventy years. But at that time there was a general uneasy feeling among the Jews and other subjected nations, who did not rest quietly under the iron yoke of Babylon. They were plotting and planning continual rebellions, and certain false prophets in Babylon worked with them, stirring up the spirit of revolt among the exiles. Jeremiah, on the other hand, assured them that they had been sent by God into the land of the Chaldeans for good, told them to seek the peace of the city where they now lived, and promised them that in due time the Lord would again plant them in their own land.
This morning my desire shall be to comfort any of God’s people who are in a state of perplexity, and so are carried away captive. I would assure them of the Lord’s kindliness towards them, and urge them to trust and not be afraid. God’s thoughts towards them are good, though their trials may be grievous.
When God planned out your life, He started with your final scene, He started with where He wants you to end up, then He worked backwards.
“I declare the end from the beginning”
your end has already been established; your final scene has already been shot. the good news is, you don’t end in defeat, failure, disappointment, you end in victory, more than a conqueror, fulfilling your purpose. when you understand that your end has been established, you won’t go through life discouraged because of a disappointment, bitter because of a loss, frustrated because a dream hasn’t come to pass; you’ll stay in peace, knowing that in the end, it’s all going to work out to your advantage. here’s the key; like any good movie, there will be twists and turns. you think, “I know I’m supposed to be going this way, why am I going the opposite direction? my goal is over here, why am I headed the wrong way?” there will be scenes that on their own don’t make sense. if you stopped right there, the divorce, sickness, loss, would look like it didn’t work for your good, looks like it got the best of you.
The death of Christ is the death of evil for the child of God. Let us trust, and not be afraid. Let us not be content with sullenly making up our minds to stoical endurance. We must not only bear the will of the Lord, but rejoice in it. It is a blessed thing when we come to rejoice in tribulations, and to glory in infirmities. It is fine music when we can sing, “Sweet affliction.
What you don’t realize is, that no matter what you may be going through now is not your final scene; as long as you’re breathing, your movie is still going. you may be in a difficult scene right now, something you don’t understand: a negative medical report, a setback in your finances. you have to remind yourself; that is not how your story ends, you have an expected end. the Creator of the universe, the most high God, has planned your days for good and not harm. if you’ll keep moving forward, at some point you’ll come into another twist, but this time: a good break, a promotion, a healing. God knows how to weave it all together. your end has already been established.
we see this principle in the life of Joseph. God destined him to become a great leader, to rule a nation, to help the Israelites during a time of famine. that was his end; it had already been established. Joseph started off well; as a young man, he was his father’s favorite child, went around wearing that coat of many colors, the coat that represented favor. but at 17 years of age, Joseph’s life had an unusual twist; his brothers were jealous, and:
As the Midianite traders were passing by, they brought Joseph up out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for about eight ounces of silver, the usual price of young male slaves. The traders set off with Joseph in the direction of Egypt.
He could have become discouraged, and thought, “I must not have heard God right. He showed me a dream that I’d rule a nation, but it sure didn’t happen.” no, Joseph understood this principle; he knew that was just one scene. he knew that his end had already been established, so he kept being his best. he was lied about, falsely accused; they put him in prison, another unusual twist. it looked like he was moving away from his destiny.
And this is the real test of life; will you stay in faith when you’re doing the right thing but the wrong thing is happening? will you continue being your best even when you’re not getting the credit? will you stay passionate even though the door closed, you didn’t get the promotion, you think you’re moving the wrong way?
This is where Joseph excelled. in prison, he didn’t fall apart; he kept doing the right thing. 13 years after he was sold into slavery, he interpreted a dream for the Pharaoh; Pharaoh was so impressed that he brought him out of prison and put him in charge of the whole nation. he saw his dream come to pass; he saw the expected end. if Joseph were standing here today, he would tell you, “don’t get discouraged by the detours, the twists of life, the things you don’t understand. they are all necessary scenes in your movie. by themselves, they may not make sense, but when God brings it all together, you too will come out fulfilling your purpose, seeing what God has promised.”
But this is where many people get frustrated, lose their passion, “if God is good, why did I have the bad break? why did I go through the loss? why didn’t my relationship make it?” we may never understand why, but I can tell you this; God wouldn’t have allowed it if it wasn’t going to somehow work for your good. nothing that’s happened to you can keep you from your destiny. the only thing that can stop you is you; if you get negative, bitter, lose your passion, that can keep you from God’s best. you may have had unfair things happen, but I’ve learned; the depth of your pain is an indication of the height of your future. when construction workers are going to build a tall building, they have to dig down many stories first for the foundation; the taller the building, the deeper the foundation.
When you go through things that you don’t understand, difficult situations, you may not like it, it may be uncomfortable, but God is getting you prepared to take you higher than you’ve ever imagined. you may think it’s there to defeat you, but God’s going to use it to promote you. no bad break can stop you. all the forces of darkness cannot hold you back. God has an expected end for you; He’s already established it. but along the way, everything is not going to make sense. this is what faith is all about. you have to trust that even in the twists of life, in the things you don’t understand, God still knows what He’s doing, that even when, like Joseph, you know God promised you one thing, but you’re seeing just the opposite, defeat, betrayal, that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and say, “God, I don’t understand it, but I trust You. I believe Your plans for me are for good, that You’ve already shot my final scene. You’ve already established my end. so Lord, I want to thank You that I will fulfill my purpose, that I will become everything You’ve created me to be.”
keep moving forward; in the end, it’s all going to work to your advantage. we know the final outcome; we don’t have to live worried and upset, God has established our end. if you’ll stay in faith, and keep honoring God, like Job, God’s going to pay you back for the trouble. like Joseph, God’s going to get you to your throne. no matter how you start, you’re going to come out with a flourishing finish, accomplishing your dreams, becoming all God created you to be.
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