God's Thoughts Toward You

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
— Jeremiah 29:11-12 NKJV

The Father created the devil, but not in His own image and likeness. That is a unique honor afforded to mankind. Contrary to what many believe, the devil never has been an angel of light; neither has he ever been an angel of worship. He has been a murderer from the beginning. The devil’s sole purpose is to eat the dust of the earth, which represents carnality. Anytime and every time that man produces sin and the works of the flesh, he invites the devil to come and partake of his food. Evil stems from the devil, and those who are swayed by perversion, sin, and the works of the flesh are indeed influenced by the devil himself. The Father who made us has only pure thoughts toward us. Our journey in Him was never intended to be to be complicated, long, or hard. The fact that it is all of these is the result of our own doings, but few of us are willing to accept responsibility. The Father is good, and His desire is for us to walk in His fullness. In Him, our yesterday, today, and tomorrow are filled with abundant hope.

No one knows us better than the one who took out of Himself and brought us into existence: our heavenly Father and Creator. There are two kinds of people in the world: good people and wicked people. Being good does not mean necessarily that a person knows God, of whom absolute goodness is one of His characteristics. There are many “good” people in the world who do good things but have no clue who the Father is. There are other “good” people who walk in the ways of the Father, enjoy a close relationship with Him, and live in a place of constant obedience to Him. They recognize that their “goodness” comes solely from Him and not from within themselves. These are the “sons of God.” They dwell in close proximity to Him. They understand His intentions and agree with Him. Their lives are consumed in total pursuit of Him.

The Father possesses complete knowledge of our outcome. He is neither controlling nor manipulative. He never promotes or displays favoritism among His children. The future He has planned for us is filled with optimism, inventiveness, curiousness, and purpose. All these things are filled with the Father’s goodness and guarantee success. He never fails, and neither do any of His plans. The sad thing is that countless people live mediocre lives never knowing who they are, lost as to their purpose, and grappling constantly in their effort to understand their greatness in the Father. When fear creeps in, it speaks in another language, a language of orphancy and poverty that seeks to derail the Father’s purpose for our lives, causing us in turn to question the Father’s goodness. One question familiar to all of us in troubling times is, “Why is this happening to me?” But the more we know and relate to the Father, the more we learn to joyfully declare, “Your purpose, Father is our delight.”

Man’s ability to make choices is in no way constrained by the Father’s control over how it’s done. Most people make decisions with no consideration of God, and the meager results soon become visible. Everywhere we look we can see the debris and detritus of our frail, weak, prideful, and futile choices that produced nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. What we must understand is that the Father never gives up on us. Even on our worst days, even amidst our biggest failures, He is ever present, prodding us to take a step back and seek Him. All of our answers and solutions come from His wisdom. The price we must pay for this is simple: “Let us draw close and desire an unbreakable relationship with Him.” Pride is the issue that keeps us apart. Bending our hearts in humility is our first step toward recognizing that apart from our Father our lives are meaningless, but in Him there is purpose, destiny, and fulfillment that the world can never, ever give us.