Keeping Faith in God’s Plan for You
In this post, Dr. John Binkley, an experienced missionary, businessman, philanthropist, and good friend of our CEO Sam Pollinzi, discusses the importance of maintaining faith in God and trusting His will for us, even when His plan feels completely unclear.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I’m truly honored to have this opportunity to write this piece for Restored Hope Ministries, a ministry I’ve had the privilege to work with numerous times over the years. Sam and myself go a long way back, and I’m in awe of his journey, where he is today and the work his team has devoted to this remarkable cause.
For my first post here, I’d like to talk about keeping faith in God’s plan for you. When faced with times of incredible hardship, it may feel reasonable to turn to God and ask “Why? What have I done to deserve this? Why have I been singled out for pain and suffering?”
Tests of faith can lead people to lose their way, and head down even more dangerous paths. It can make you question other explanations, question your path, even question His existence altogether. But, I am here to reassure you that this is all part of God’s plan – a plan that has been crafted especially for you.
As Psalm 139:16 states, “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!” Even before you were born, The Lord determined your purpose, and He gave you the tools to fulfill it as only you can.
I have written on this topic at length in my book Character is King. In it I create a roadmap to help people determine where God has called you to be, and the Christ-like characteristics He has given you to achieve this. Understanding God’s plan is a case of recognizing your strengths, acknowledging your weaknesses, and using the lessons and experiences of life to empower the continuation of your journey.
This roadmap will not always offer a smooth path. And it doesn’t mean you have no agency in His plan – God expects you to meet His destiny with your actions.
But, what it is crucial to remember is that each one of us is a work of God’s hand, and His love for us is eternal and unbreakable. He knows you personally and will not let you fall. The challenges, the suffering, the angst that you may currently be experiencing in whatever form is His way of guiding you to your purpose.
Sam’s journey is a prime example of this. Sam had a childhood inflicted with abuse, drugs and crime, which eventually cost him dearly. But, this led him to finding Jesus Christ at the behest of another prisoner, which transformed his life and set him on the righteous path he now walks, helping rescue those in need like he was rescued years ago.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Peter 3:9
Maintaining faith in the idea that God set this path for you isn’t easy, especially when faced with the tribulations endured by those supported by Restored Hope Ministries. But showing strength of faith ensures you never face suffering alone, and the resolve that as He will comfort you and give you direction.
The Bible is filled with stories of strong women whose faith remained in times of adversity. I’m reminded most notably of the life of Hagar. She was a servant given to Abraham to birth a child by his wife, Sarah. Treated so harshly by Sarah during her pregnancy, Hagar fled into the desert, her faith maintaining her strength and guiding her back to bear the child, with The Lord’s promise her son would be blessed.
Fourteen years later, Hagar and her son Ishmael were again banished to the desert, and God heard and answered their cries for support. Through their faith and Hagar’s love for Ishmael, they survived this difficult journey, and Ishmael grew up to sire a great nation.
"You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." Genesis 16:13
Hagar has grown to represent women who have been excluded or abused in the past, but have risen on the strength of their faith in God. She is one of many women – Ruth, Rachel, Ester, etc. – whose resolve in their faith allowed them to eventually prosper. Their lives were far from easy, but they remained steadfast in their belief that God has their best interests at heart, even if they could not see it in the moment.
If you do ever find your faith wane in the face of struggles, or begin to lose hope in the roadmap God set for you, remember and practice the following:
Don’t cling to preconceived notions about how your life was supposed to go or what you would change in your past – instead accept that this is where you are now, and surrendering to this thought will allow you to move forward with God.
Don’t view faith as a magic pill that will solve all your problems, but rather understand that there is a greater plan for you than you might see at the moment.
Accept that life will come with challenges great and small, and look for people to support you during these times that help preserve your faith.
Open communications with The Lord through prayer, and let Him know that your faith for him is strong, and that you will be patient for His ambition for you to be achieved.
Don’t discount something that could be part of God’s plan because it’s not what you’d expect – He moves in mysterious ways.
In addition to reinforcing faith and conviction in God’s plan for us all, I’d like to encourage the men reading of our duty as servant-leaders in our homes, churches and communities. I have spoken about the strength and resolve of women living in the hardship that Restored Hope Ministries seeks to free them from, and men have a duty to support their abundant faith and ensure that this doesn’t depart them.
I’ve had the fortune to discuss this responsibility of men as part of ministries like Christian Men’s Network and AP Ministries, and the role we must play in empowering the limitless faith of women who have faced adversity in the course of God’s plan for them.
I hope you have enjoyed this piece, and that it has invigorated a renewed sense of faith and understanding in God’s plans for you. It is through the most difficult moments life presents us that we must be strong in our faith, and retain the hope that He will reward us down the road.
God has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand His wisdom, but we simply have to trust His will. Psalm 37:5
Dr. John Binkley has participated in over 150 mission trips since 1995 with multiple groups, and is a frequent speaker at churches and ministries. He received his Doctorate in Ministry from the Phoenix University of Theology. Dr. Binkley is also Founder and Chairman of prominent M&A advisory firm Generational Equity.