God’s Plan (by John Loy)

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Jesus heals a leper
Pen and ink drawing; 14.7 x 17.2 cm; c. 1655-60
Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet

Luke’s gospel tells the story of ten men with leprosy who were in need of a touch from Jesus. Leprosy was incurable. They asked Jesus for a healing, and He extended it to them. But out of the ten, only one returned to give Him thanks. We read that “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done . . .” (Luke 17:15)

Earlier he had prayed loudly for a healing, and then he was loud with his praise. I love the fact that the original language uses two words from which get our English word “megaphone.” The man was loud in thanking Jesus for what He had done for him.

As Christians, we should give thanks to God because we recognize that He is in control of all circumstances surrounding our lives. As Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

God is sovereign, which means that God is able to do what He pleases with whomever He chooses whenever He wishes. The prophet Jeremiah said, “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course” (Jeremiah 10:23). And we read in Proverbs 20:24, “The Lord directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” That is the sovereignty of God.

But what about when bad things happen? Is God still in control? Yes. And the Bible tells us that despite the bad things that happen, which many times are inexplicable, God can work all things together for good to those that love Him (see Romans 8:28). As the psalmist wrote, “Everything serves [His] plans” (119:91).

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