“God has a plan for your life.”
This statement has become something of a truism among evangelicals, whether it introduces a gospel presentation or comes during a time of suffering and trial, as a source of comfort in knowing God is sovereign over our sorrow.
In the midst of turmoil, we take comfort in the truth that God has a plan for our lives. We express our trust in God’s sovereignty over our circumstances—that no matter what comes, God is there, and he is working all things together for our good (Rom. 8:28). Even when we can’t see the plan of God, we believe that he is not caught by surprise by our circumstances.
“God has a plan for your life,” we say.
But when the New Testament talks about God’s plan, it is not always in reference to circumstances that happen to us; it also refers to blessings that happen through us. In other words, God’s plan doesn’t just involve your circumstances; it involves the blessing you pass on to others.
God’s plan isn’t just about how things are working out for you, but how you are “working out your salvation” for the good of others (Phil. 2:12). And God is the One who is “working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose” (Phil. 2:13). There’s a good purpose behind your good works.
This is God’s plan—that you fulfill your purpose through the good works you do. When Jesus calls you to salvation, he calls you to service. We are stewards of the gospel, and we are responsible for good works.
Consider the logic of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. The letter opens with the marvelous run-on sentence that showcases the Trinitarian God at work fulfilling his cosmic plan of redemption. Ephesians 2 then reminds us that it is by grace we are saved through faith, not by works. But right after that glorious explanation of the gospel, we see God’s plan culminating in the good deeds he has mapped out for us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10)
God’s plan. Good works prepared ahead of time. Works that include the coming together of Jew and Gentile in order to exalt the Savior together. Works that make the church a foretaste of the coming kingdom of God.
Good works are our destiny. So this is God’s plan—that we would do good works that benefit the people around us and bring glory to Christ our King.
We might say, then, that God doesn’t have just a plan for your life, but also a plan through your life. His master plan involves not only the circumstances you will confront, but also the good works you will accomplish. God will bless others through you.
God has a plan through your life.