George Bernard Shaw once quipped that if there is life on other planets, they must be using planet Earth for their insane asylum. Sometimes it looks like he is right. Do you ever ask yourself, “What’s gone wrong? Why are so many people today—perhaps yourself included—merely existing, surviving one day at a time, living without much purpose or meaning?”

The Bible, however, contends that a purpose in life is not a philosophical question, but a spiritual one. While the secular world sees life as co-incidental, an evolutionary happenstance, the Bible says you were made in the image of God, by God and for God, and to fulfill a purpose that He has for you.

God’s plan is better than your plan because He sees the end from the beginning and you only see the dim future. That’s why many without this knowledge end up taking their own lives. The Bible says that God is a good God, not a cosmic killjoy sitting up in His heaven trying to make you miserable by keeping you from having a good time. But because He made you, He knows what will bring fulfillment and happiness and what produces misery. That’s why the Bible says, “Do this; don’t do that!” When everyone does what is right in his own eyes—and that’s about where we are right now in society—there is chaos.

God’s plan is better than yours because His plan leads to life and the world’s leads to spiritual death. Twice the Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25). I’m thinking of the time I spoke to a group in Kiev, Ukraine shortly after the Iron Curtain came down. With tears in her eyes, a woman said, “Under Communism, we did many things that were evil and wrong, but we didn’t know any better.” But what if God struck dead every one—myself included—who had ever done anything wrong or evil with the full knowledge that what you were doing was wrong? Our plans lead downward; God’s leads up!

Ours is the dilemma which Paul faced when he wrote that the things he didn’t want to do were the very things he ended up doing, and those he wanted to do were the things that went undone. But—and here we turn the corner—God knew all of this and sent His Son to bring us back home, to bring us into confrontation with God’s plan and purpose. “But there is forgiveness with you,” David wrote, “that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:4). That’s good news.

“You mean I will never have to give an account to God for the abortion I had?” a woman asked. I had just been talking with her about the nature of God’s forgiveness and how, when God forgives, He wipes the slate clean as though something had never happened.

Here’s the story behind those words. As a teenager she had gone to a YFC (Youth For Christ) group and came to understand something of what God requires, but finding herself pregnant with three children at home and not wanting another, and having no husband, she decided there was no way out.

God’s plan is better than yours because as Creator and Architect, He knows what brings happiness and fulfillment in life. God not only forgives, but sent a Shepherd to guide us back into the path of His plan and purpose. Long ago, Jacob, as an old man prayed for his grandsons, saying, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm – may he bless these boys” (Genesis 48:15-16). He’s the Shepherd who walks with you through the valley and up the other side. He still blesses our lives with His presence, and that’s good news in a bad world.

Resource Reading: 29:11-13

Text: May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm–may he bless these boys. Genesis 48:15,16

GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – October 26, 2017