Dear Friends,

Does God have a wonderful plan for your life? The answer is “yes and no” and “it depends”. It is misleading to simply answer “yes”. Now some of you are shocked, you expected me to give the Christian answer, “yes God has a wonderful plan for your life”. For many generations there was a whole evangelistic strategy and method around that very claim. But I think it is misleading to quickly answer “yes”.

From a secular point of view, becoming a Christian and then learning to follow Jesus as your Saviour and Lord will make you poorer, dumber, less fun and less popular. Our secular friends will say, “How can it be a wonderful plan for your life, if you end up giving some, maybe even lots, of your money away? If you do this you will have less money. How can you have a wonderful life with less money?” They will say, “If you become a Christian you will end up not doing things that are fun? You will end up doing stuff that is not fun, like go to church or reading you bible. How can you have a wonderful life if you have less fun?” You see, if you look at Christianity from the perspective that life is made worth living in terms of how you satisfy your needs for money, power, sex, food, pleasure and possessions – then by most, but not all, of these criteria, becoming a true Christian will not give you a wonderful life.

But even from a secular perspective there are problems with these criteria. These problems provide a clue as to why the Gospel is true. Money can only buy what money can buy, and money cannot buy happiness. Most people would not want to over hear their friends say that they are really cheap and ungenerous, money or power hungry, materialistic or self-centered. In fact, the gospel teaches us that there is nothing wrong with money, power, sex, food, pleasure or possessions in themselves – but that they can become idols and they can become disordered. When anything, or any pursuit in your life becomes an idol, or disordered, it makes your life less wonderful – in fact anxious and unpleasant.

This helps us to understand why it is very true to say that the Lord has a wonderful plan for your life. He loves us. We were meant to be love. He makes us alive. We were meant for life. He reconciles us to himself, we were made to be in a right relationship with our Creator and Sustainer. The Lord is the true God, and to know Him rightly is a key step in the killing of our idols and the proper ordering of our desires. The Lord fits us for eternity and we were meant for eternity. He gives us His presence and we were meant to live in His presence. He reveals truth and truth is our minds food and our mind was meant to be well fed on truth, not lies. He makes us a part of His people and we were not meant to be alone. He gives us purpose and our lives were meant to have purpose. He helps us to forgive and we need to forgive to be free. He died to set us free and we were meant to be free with Him. He gives us hope that the final words about us will be “Welcome my child!” We were meant to have hope. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to the end that all who believe in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. “