For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Listen: Ephesians 2
The book of James is written to early Christians who are scattered and in disarray. They have no idea how long their trials will last or whether they will end at all. They are enduring persecution they never planned for when they decided to accept and follow Jesus. James encourages them to choose hope, trust God and endure by choosing to do good works in the midst of their pain.
The Bible is full of people whose plans get changed from what they were expecting. As we learned in the sermon series, Finding Hope in Family Conflict, Joseph’s plans for a good life on his dad’s estate got hijacked when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery. But, he never stopped trusting God. When a famine brought those same brothers to his door asking for help, he said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).
We all go through plan disruptions. James is telling us God creates detours in our plans because he desires something good to happen. Sometimes it’s something good to happen in us (James 1:2-4). Sometimes it’s something good to happen through us (James 1:22). James is deeply passionate about not just knowing God’s Word but making him central to all our actions and plans—even when we experience a detour.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Commit to memory Ephesians 2:10. Write it out or put in your mobile device to review over the coming days. Use it as a reminder that you are created by God to do his good works, and to trust him when your plans go awry.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.