It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Do you find it hard to believe that God has a good purpose for you? I know sometimes I do. In my small perception of God, I naturally assume He is too busy to plan out a good purpose for me. Yet throughout scripture we are reassured of His plans and purposes. Some people have trouble believing that God’s purposes are good. They tend to think of God as a cruel taskmaster or slave-driver with a whip, ready to lead us into the most difficult life we can imagine. Paul didn’t say that God works in us to will and to act according to His evil plan, or His cracked whip, or His never-ending demands.
No, God works in us to will and to act according to His Good Purpose. This little phrase can be translated as “God’s kind intention or good pleasure.” God not only knows what is well and good, but He has the intention or resolve to work toward that good. We see this same term used in the first chapter of Ephesians, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Again, we find these words used later in the same chapter, “He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.”
Paul wrote in his letter to the Thessalonians, “We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.” I’m also reminded of the well-loved Romans passage, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Do you get the feeling as you read these verses that God has an intentional plan and purpose for us, and it is good? These verses also remind us that it is by His power that He fulfills His good purpose. How wonderful to know that as believers in Christ, we are not alone to try to figure out how to live life. He equips us with His Spirit to both will and to act according to His good purpose. God uses even our difficulties and challenges for His good intentions and plan. It’s funny how so many temptations in this world seem to offer good pleasure, but they leave us less than satisfied. We search and hope to find happiness in people, things or substances and are left wanting. But God has a good purpose and a kind intention for our lives, and it begins with a relationship with Him.
Are you willing to trust His good purpose for you, even when you don’t understand why something has happened in your life? He is faithful and good. He will never leave you. Part of His good plan is His presence to help you and strengthen you each step of the way.
Check out: A Woman’s Passionate Pursuit of God. It makes a great summer read or Bible study.