We need God-given purpose and plans

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse of today: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
Our thought for today: “We need God-given purpose and plans”
James Allen was a British philosopher and writer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His most popular (and in my opinion most helpful) book was published in 1903 under the title “As A Man Thinketh”. It’s based on Proverbs 23:7, which maintains that the things we hold most dearly in our heart are what will shape us as a person.
With respect to our topic of dealing with anxiety and despair, I’m convinced that much of the anxiety and despair some people experience comes from the fact that deep in their heart they see little hope for today or for the future. I’m further convinced that one of the most effective ways of dealing with that is to have a God-given purpose and a plan to achieve that purpose.
With respect to that, Allen wrote, “They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings” But there’s a way to deal with that problem. Allen goes on, “The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an ideal and strive to reach it.”
What Allen is advocating for is having a purpose in life and a plan to carry it out. I believe that’s essential for every person, at every stage of life. Far too many of us are simply existing – just getting through our days, enduring our circumstances, and then doing it again the next day. That’s a recipe for despair and it’s not what God wants for us.
We need to have God-given dreams and purpose – along with a plan to keep us moving in the direction of our purpose. It doesn’t have to be some grand scheme to save the world. It can be as simple as a plan to get more education, or to learn a new skill, or to volunteer for a new ministry in your church. It could be to implement a new diet and exercise routine.
If you have aspirations for what you would like to achieve in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead, and you are actively working a plan to do so, it will take your focus off of what you perceive to be the hopelessness of your current circumstances.
It’s true for Christians in all stages of life. To live well and to live with hope it’s essential to have a God-given purpose and a plan.  
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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