It can be difficult and frustrating to navigate our faith while being a part of a family where everyone is not on the same page of the Bible or maybe they’re not in the book at all. In John 7 Jesus’ brothers encourage him to go to Judea to the Jewish Festival. They told him to perform miracles for everyone to see so that He would become famous. They didn’t really understand their brother or what God had created him to do.
Did you know that one of the greatest aspects of having Jesus as your BFF is that he can always understand what you’re going through? Yep. It’s true. The human experience of Jesus here on earth includes many of the same issues we have today, especially when it comes to dealing with family, friends, or ourselves. Jesus was misunderstood by religious leaders. He was frustrated by the lack of understanding from his crew. Even his own family wasn’t totally bought in to the plan. In fact, the Bible tells us that when crunch time came, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to ask God to take away the burden of the cross. (Mark 14)
Sometimes it’s not clear to those around us that we are trying to walk a deeper life of faith. Ironically, everyone has a purpose but not everyone understands that everyone has a purpose. Consequently, we may get negative comments, discouraging advice, or simply no support for the things we believe God is doing in our lives. You cannot let this deter you. Stick to the plan God has for your life.
Here are some lessons from John 7 to keep you on track.
When Jesus was in that garden, He kept it real with God about not wanting to go to the cross. However, he ended the prayer with “not my will but your will be done.” You can be afraid to go alone, but go anyway because God is with you. In John 7:13, no one had the courage to speak favorably about Jesus because they were afraid. Sometimes, people may believe in you and what you are doing but they are afraid to express it. Your obedience to God’s plan for your life can sometimes push others passed their own fear into a better life.
Pay close attention. God can speak to you through a road sign, a spring breeze, or a small child. In John 7:24 Jesus tells the people to “Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.” Don’t just take things at face value but ask God for the deeper meaning to what’s going on in your life. Jesus always encourages us to see the heart of a matter. Most times we have to look beyond the obvious to see what God is telling us about people, pain, and predicaments in our lives. The obstacles you face while pursuing purpose may simply be tools to strengthen you for the journey ahead. Hit an obstacle? Don’t give up. Stick to the plan.
Do you believe the plan God has for your life? Do you believe He wants you to be whole and happy and peaceful? Doubt can be the biggest hindrance to achieving your goals. Don’t talk yourself out of destiny because you hit a rough patch. The Holy Spirit strengthens us to keep going in faith. Access the power of God by praying for strength, courage, and endurance. John 7:39 reminds us that everyone is filled with the Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus. Do you believe? If so, you have the power to stick to the plan.
Maybe you don’t have the whole plan or there is a critical piece that you don’t know yet. So what?! God knows what He’s doing. People didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah because they knew him as the carpenter’s son from Nazareth. The Old Testament scriptures said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. The people didn’t know Jesus was born in Bethlehem. They had no idea that Joseph was a descendant of King David. People only knew them as a family of carpenters. BUT GOD!!! His plan was right on schedule for Jesus and it’s right on time for you, too. Stick to the plan.
Take some time to read John 7 this week, write down what you learn about sticking to the plan. Jesus is our example. He stuck to the plan despite all opposition and because He did, we can too.
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