When I consider what happened yesterday in Paris, France, I think about two sets of diametrically opposed plans on the physical level. The people who were attending a concert, sporting event, or some other venue that got targeted by terrorists had plans to have a great time, a memorable event to talk about with friends and family in later years to relive fun times. Their plans were reasonable and promising when made.
The terrorists, however, had overriding plans for those people at that time in those venues. They planned to use evil, killing, maiming, terrorizing, brute force, and suicide as an advertisement of their political and religious message to the world. They did not look at people as individuals worthy of life as they had lived life. They made their plans based solely on their idealistic view of dominance in the name of the one they worship.
One set of plans gave way to another set of plans. In this case the result became disastrous and the weight of variations on the tragedy will be felt for generations. This well-planned out day of terror gives atheists another chance to say, “How can there be a God who would let this happen?” They prefer to say, “There is no God.”
The Bible, in Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV), holds a promise often memorized where God says through His prophet Jeremiah, “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.” Although meant for a particular audience at another time, this passage reveals the nature of God. He does good to people. He is the Creator of people, so why would He wish to harm them? Why would He not have high hopes for their betterment? Why would He want people killed who are potential followers of His way?
Many of the people at the sites of the terrorist attacks in Paris probably were not strong believers in God of the Bible, if they believed at all. Yet God would not want them harmed or killed to force belief in Him. He wants people to freely accept Him as Father God, along with His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, who together make up the Trinity, God in Three Persons.
On the spiritual level, which we don’t see, plans are made. Evil forces make plans against God’s good plans. People, innocents and not so innocents, get caught in the cross hairs of warfare. On the physical level, God’s allowing of hurts and death does not make sense. Yet He lets us in on part of His plans in the Bible when He reveals that Jesus has overcome death and all physical ailments humans suffer. His plan, based on Jesus going to the cross, was meant as a way out of death for all those who would believe. His word is not trite or trivial. It literally gives eternal life to those who would believe in Jesus and confess Him as Lord of their lives.
We are all given choice in the plans we make and follow. I choose to follow plans to bring me to eternal life with God. My worldview has been deeply affected by God’s word in the Bible. He is the God with the long view. Lesser gods don’t care about life. They and their followers only want to force themselves on others as a way to try and take power.from the true God. They have what seems a few momentary wins, but the One True God will be victorious in the end and the ending covers all that transpires between then and now.
Do you have plans to follow God in the Way (Jesus) to eternal life?