When God’s Plan for Your Life doesn’t Match Yours

Do you remember when you were little and had all these plans and dreams for your life?  

You just knew for sure that your life was going to turn out exactly like you wanted.

You grow up, and you pray that God will have His way with your life and He will be done.

God's plan for your life

So what do you do when God’s plan for your life doesn’t match yours?

It has been my experience that if I am sincerely praying for God’s plan to be done in my life, all of my plans blow up in my face!

I had all kinds of plans.  I just knew how my life was going to go.  But let me assure you God had completely different plans!

It was at this time that I began to ask, “Why?”  “Did I make a mistake?”  “Did I not hear you right?”  “Is this really Your will for my life?”

God’s plan is different than mine and I’m supposed to be thankful?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

This is a challenging verse to wrap my head around sometimes.  

I have sat in my room or wherever talking to God and praying about certain situations, and this verse will come to my mind.

Sometimes it is tough to understand how our current situation can be God’s will for our lives in the world.

 How can being unhappy in your marriage after trying for years to do the right thing and be a faithful, loving wife be in God’s will?

When you struggle every week and month while trying your best to be a good steward, is that really God’s will?

Why would God want me to grow up with only one parent?

I am reminded of Paul in these times of questioning.  Have you ever read the book of Philippians?  I love it!

Philippians is considered the happiest book of the Bible.  Do you know the circumstances Paul was in when he wrote the book of Philippians?

He was in prison!  Yep, prison.

Trust me when I say this, I have been round and round with God on this whole ‘will’ thing.

 I have prayed, questioned, praised, trusted, asked even more questions, trusted some more.  It’s crazy!

God has a plan for my life and I have questions!

Has this ever happened to you?  Have you ever asked God for something, and He gave you the opposite?  How did you handle that?

What do you do when you are trying your very best to live according to God’s word, trust Him with your life and trust Him with the outcome?

Do you get angry with God?  Have you ever quit trusting that God has a plan?  Is it easy to become depressed?

Several people in the Bible experienced this.  I have read these stories repeatedly, but it is not until the last few years that their accounts have really come alive to me.

Abraham is an excellent example of this.  He was promised children as great as the stars, yet he and his wife waited 25 years for that promise to be fulfilled.  

Don’t you just know he had times when he questioned God?  I’m sure he and his wife had a few discussions about this.

The story that has really hit home for me lately is that of Job.  

Again, this is a story I’ve read who knows how many times, but it wasn’t until I was talking to a friend that I decided to get my Bible and really reread this story.

I absolutely can not even begin to imagine what he was thinking!

He is going along living his life, taking care of his family, just minding his own business and doing his job, and then BAM!!

His life COMPLETELY falls apart!  He loses everything all at once.  Every single area of his life was touched by this.

His family, his work, his friends, his faith.  Literally, every single area of his life was touched.

I have to admit after reading Job’s story, I begin to feel very selfish and childish.  Hand to the face when I think about how I act sometimes.

In my heart, I know that He only wants what is best for me.  

He said that before He formed me in the womb, He knew me.

 How could He not want what is best for me?!

He promises to work everything out for my good.  

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Now as much as I hate to admit it, I have made some mistakes in my life, and I can honestly say looking back that God has been amazingly gracious to me!

So as the psalmist, David, said, “I will praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever.”

God has a plan and I’m beginning to understand

My friend told me something that really hit home.  

She said, “I’ve had to learn to let things go.  I may never understand why things have turned out the way they have, and that’s ok.  God is in control, and He has a reason for allowing it.”

Honestly, you would think I would know this at this stage of my life.  

I’m no spring chicken, and I have had several life experiences that should have taught me by now that I may never have all the answers.

I may never know why God has either caused or allowed certain things in my life.

And that is ok.  It’s ok not to have all the answers as long as I know the One who does.

It seems to me that the key is to learn to rest.  

Rest in God’s goodness.  Rest in God’s love for me.  Rest in His mercy.

It can be hard to just rest.  Resting is literally doing nothing. How can I do nothing when my life is crazy or falling apart?

How can I rest when I need answers?  We need to be doing something.  We need to fix things, right?

But that really isn’t our job.  Our job is to not be afraid.  Our job is to trust God’s heart and to rest in Him.

Are you able to do that?  I’m learning.  It is not always easy.  

Sometimes it is hard to jump off the merry-go-round of trying to fix things, letting God be in control, getting anxious and impatient, then trying to fix things again.

God has a plan so where do I go from here

As I am personally going through some tough things right now, God is teaching me.  He is teaching me to let go.

He is teaching me to let Him be God and to trust all that He says He is.  

I’d love to say I’m this amazingly strong Christian, and like Paul, I’m just sitting in my prison (of doubt, worry, the anxiety you can fill in the blank) praising God!

But I’m not always doing that, if I’m honest.

If I’m being honest with you, sometimes I struggle.  I struggle with trusting God is going to work this out for my good.

I STRUGGLE WITH TRUST when I don’t see any possible way this can work out for my good.  I don’t doubt God can do anything.  Sometimes I just struggle doubting if He will.

I think about my life and the mistakes I’ve made, and I know I don’t deserve His goodness and grace. On the other hand, I know sometimes I deserve the mess I’m in.

Then God reminds me of His great love for me. Finally, he leads me to His promises and His throne of grace and mercy.

I am overwhelmed by His love!  

Waves of emotion hit me like waves in the ocean crash onto the shore as I read about His love and mercy and grace and forgiveness.

I am brought to my knees in a heap thanking Him over and over and filled with His peace that passes all understanding.

His assurance that He’s got this.  It’s under control.  I don’t have to have all the answers.  That’s not my job, that is God’s job to have the answers.

My job is just to trust in the One who holds me in His hand and hides me under the shadow of His wings, and I know that I am ok.

God has a plan so I have assurance

If you are going through something in your life that has you questioning God and His goodness and love.

If you don’t have all the answers and you are tired of being on the “merry go round of crazy” is what I call it, then come to the cross of Jesus.

Stop whatever you are doing and tell Him you can’t do this anymore and don’t want to.  

You need Him to take over and help you to stop questioning every single thing and just trust Him.

I am praying for you today!  I hope you will take the time to print off this list of the Names of God and Prayer Page.

As I read these verses and study the stories that go with them, I can’t help but thank God for showing us all that He is.

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  1. This is such a great reminder to trust that God’s plans and purpose for our lives are so much bigger and better than we could imagine. I have learned to submit all my plans and goals to God for His guidance and direction.

  2. I truly agree with what you share in this post. Going with the flow and trusting God for everything that comes our way is the foundation for a fulfilled life.

  3. Thank you so much for your post. Learning to let go and let God is hard, but it’s so amazing when we do.

  4. It can be so hard to trust God’s plan for my life when things are going so differently than I would have chosen. Paul’s words are such a source of comfort as I’m pretty sure prison wasn’t on his to-do list either! Thank you for this sweet encouragement.

  5. I needed this today. Sometimes I forget that He has bigger plans for me.

  6. Such great reminders. I have really been working on giving God control over my plans and asking him for guidance. My plans are very rarely his plans. I have really been trying to figure out how He wants to use me to spread his word with my blog and business.

  7. SO tough, but definitely true. I have found that when I say, “OK, God, have your way!” I have to be prepared to make A LOT of changes because I quickly see how much of ME is in my plans instead of HIM! Great reminders here!

  8. This is a much needed and encouraging post!Letting gonand letting God. We will only understand the full picture when we go to heaven one day.

  9. All I can say is that God’s plan for my life sucks. There’s nothing good about it and I don’t want it. He can keep it for himself!

    1. Hey Thomas, I’ve thought that exact same thing before myself. I struggled for a long time trying to understand why God had allowed some things to happen in my life. I knew He could have protected me but it seemed to me that He just chose not to. The Bible verse about being thankful in all circumstances for this is God’s will concerning you was very difficult for me to accept! But then I started to thank Him for my life and seriously every little thing that I could think of to be thankful for. Like, “thank you for waking me up”, “thank you for protecting me from harm today”. Then I started quoting Bible verses and His promises back to Him. I would say, “Thank you for working all things, including this, for my good. It doesn’t feel good, I don’t like it, I don’t understand why you have let this happen, but I’m going to thank you for the good that you are doing through this even when I see no way for good to come from it, I trust you to be true to your word and I am depending on you. Please work in my heart and mind and help me.” I hope this helps and I’d love to send you some Bible verses to help you through this. Please know that I am praying for you!

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