Jesus the Prophet Sermon Series graphic

Isaiah 55:8-11 (CEB)

My plans aren’t your plans,
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways,
    and my plans than your plans.
Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky
        and don’t return there without watering the earth,
        making it conceive and yield plants
        and providing seed to the sower and food to the eater,
    so is my word that comes from my mouth;
        it does not return to me empty.
        Instead, it does what I want,
        and accomplishes what I intend.


God doesn’t waste a thing. In my life, here’s what I’ve seen: every challenge, every setback, every frustration and every disappointment are leading somewhere. Though there have been many times when I have doubted God’s presence, and sometimes even God’s goodness, I can look back now and see paths that at the moment were completely unclear to me. Other parts of my past remain a mystery yet to be unlocked, their meaning and purpose still unknown. But I take comfort in the idea that God’s ways are not my ways, and God’s plans are not my plans. Embracing this truth is both frustrating and freeing. It’s frustrating in that trusting God requires me to relinquish control – to let go of my own plans. This is not something I am particularly excited to do. At the same time, it’s freeing because we have this other promise: that God’s Word never returns empty – that God’s purposes WILL be worked out in the world, and in our lives too.

For Pondering & Prayer

When you reflect on the most difficult chapters of your life, how can you see God’s hand at work? Was God’s presence clear to you at the time?

Consider someone you know who was able to hold on to faith despite difficult circumstances. What can you learn from them? Do you need a word of encouragement from them today?