Fulfilling Your Destiny
Did you know that you have a destiny? I am not talking about a place that you will go. I am talking about a reason for being here. That purpose is based on hope and faith. A temptation that people have when they go through difficult times is, they lose their sense of destiny or purpose. When Audrey and I went to the USSR, we saw in the lives of the people there a loss of destiny. They would walk with their heads down and would never make eye contact with anyone. They would run you over in the market and never say excuse me. It was one of the first Russian words I used, and my Russian teacher told me that it is an unused word. No one said excuse me! The Russian people had lost their sense of destiny when communism took over.
I want you to know in the deepest of heart and mind that you have a destiny or purpose. There is a reason for you to be here. The Apostle had been sentenced to death and was in a Roman prison that was a pit. This was during his second imprisonment and it was much worse than his first. Yet as Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, Paul still had his sense of destiny. It would have been easy for Paul to quit, but he did not! He kept on ministering. He kept preaching the Gospel even though his days on earth were limited.
God has a plan for you. That plan does not change because of difficulty, viruses or persecution. It remains the same. It may be expedited in different ways. Paul was no longer able to have visitors. He was not free. He needed someone to care for him and that someone was Luke. Some believers had left Paul because of fear. Paul had also sent many away so that they would continue to preach the Gospel. No matter what circumstance you are in, you have a destiny. I have heard many older people say, “Why am I here?” My reply to them is this, “I don’t know, but God has a reason for you being here.”
There is a scripture that many of you already know. It is found in Jeremiah 29:11. What you may not realize is that Jeremiah wrote these words in a letter to the elders of Israel that were in exile. They were in a difficult place. They were in Babylon! God, through the prophet Jeremiah, is assuring them that He still had a plan for them, a destiny, and a purpose for being there. This is what the prophet wrote to them, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”
Notice this is not a specific plan for everyone. It was written to encompass all of God’s people. God has an individual plan for you, but it is within the boundaries of this verse. His plan for you encompasses welfare. Jeremiah was not talking about a check from the government. The Hebrew word that Jeremiah used is a word we are familiar with which is shalom. The meaning of this word is basically completeness. The Dictionary of Biblical Languages defines the word Shalom as peace, prosperity, health, safeness and having every need met. God’s plan for His people is that they would live full and complete lives and they would lack in nothing that they need.
The next words that describe God’s plan are ‘not for calamity.’ This word calamity is the opposite of Shalom. It is the Hebrew word “Ra.” It means every type of evil or all things bad and miserable. It would include things like disaster, crime and injury. It is not God’s plan for us to have these things in our lives. Instead, God’s plan for us is to give us a future. The Hebrew word give makes this interesting. God gives us our future. This Hebrew word means He lays it down or hands it over to us. God is the giver of our future. It is not dependent on our circumstance or situation. Our future as people of God is set in who God is. He is unchanging, eternal, and more than able to do. He gives us our future and we lay hold of that by faith. God has a future for you. The word future is the Hebrew word acharith. This word means an end or posterity. The plan that God has for your destiny will bring you all the way to the end of your life on earth. It is not just for time but so that you will accomplish everything He has set before you. One of the things I have done when in dangerous situations, I think about the things I still need to accomplish. It gives me the assurance that I will survive. The same is true for you.
The next thing that Jeremiah gives as an assurance to the people of God is that we have a hope. The Hebrew word for hope that is used in this verse is interesting. It is the Hebrew word tiqvah. This is the Hebrew word for rope and the Hebrew word for hope. I imagine it this way. God throws us a rope that gives us hope. When we reach the end or the future as God’s people, there is more for us. It is part of God’s planned destiny. It is our hope, eternity in heaven with Him and many of our loved ones.
What a wonderful and full destiny we have as people of God! Our destiny is full and complete. We need to believe in this destiny that God has given to us. This is especially true for the times we live in. God has given us a destiny and like everything we receive from Him, we receive it by faith. Believe in Him and His destiny for you.