Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
How do I know God's will for my life? How do I "renew" my mind? There is only one way to have a renewed mind that is transformed and not conformed to the patterns of this world. Without this way you will never know God, never grow spiritually, and never understand what it means to follow Jesus.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
Christians often use the verse above as a source of comfort when our plans fall through or life gets too hard. I know in my own life because I have so much to deal with concerning my health, it's nice to have one of those "go-to" verses that help me not lose hope or give up entirely.
Prosperity teachers would have you believe that Jeremiah 29:11 is all about how God wants us to prosper financially. But that is not what this verse is all about. So what does Jeremiah 29:11 tell us about God? What are His plans for us? Especially in pandemic times?
You may think your God-given gift is a special talent in writing, music, art, etc. A special talent is something you excel at. You either practised all your life to become the best, or it just came naturally to you - like God made you for that particular purpose.
Or, your God-given gift could be what you like to do the most in life, what you enjoy doing more than anything. In truth, that could also be closely aligned with your talent. I loved singing and had a powerful soprano voice, so when I felt led into a singing career it seemed natural to do so. When I came to the realization that perhaps God gave me the gift of singing to glorify Him and spread the Gospel, I used my voice for Him, rather than for my personal gain.
Now, you will notice that I have not talked about Spiritual Gifts. There is a reason for that. These gifts are given when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. But, God-given gifts are different in that they have been with us since before we were born.
It is hard to imagine being in the hospital (with brief time-outs) for five months. I will be honest, the longer I stayed in the system, the harder it was for me to see God at work. The lack of communication between my doctors and their team, was disheartening. I felt I was always scrambling for answers that no one was willing to own up to. I became so frustrated that I began to question if I had seen God at work or if my doctors had gotten lucky with their treatment plan.
Despite that, I have learned many things. I believe God is listening to every cry from our lips, and He is leaps and bounds ahead of us, putting everything together so that when we are in need, and we cry out to Him, the answers are already in place - they just have to unfold.
For example, I landed in the hospital originally because my health was getting worse. How I landed there surprised me more than I can say. Why I was there was an actual answer to prayer (to be able to share face to face with people about God). I stayed in the hospital from May 22nd to July 7th and was transferred from there to a rehab hospital so I could learn to walk again. While at rehab, God had plans to teach me patience. Not patience with others, but patience with myself. That was a hard one.
But, today I want to tell you about why it is so important to be patient with God and let Him complete His good work in you. Patience and waiting on God are vital in finding those "God Moments."
Life changes on a dime! Yes, I am still in the hospital and yes, things got bad again. The before and after pictures are where I was and what I'm dealing with now. I was transferred to a rehab hospital and once again cellulitis reared its ugly head.
So what is going on? Why is God allowing this to happen? Could it be for my own good?