Hope When Things Don’t Turn Out the Way You Plan

Wall Hanging from the Hope for Your Heart Collection

Wall Hanging from the Hope for Your Heart Collection

God speaks the world into being. Stars scatter light across the sky. Birds debut their first songs. Trees stretch their branches high in praise. Glorious.

Then one bite of forbidden fruit and everything changes.  

We often talk of all we lost as humanity that day in the Garden of Eden. But God lost something too–His dream of what this world would be. Uncomfortable truth: Even if you’re perfect, even if you’re all-powerful, even if you think of every detail…there is no guarantee that things will happen just as you’d like.

We ask, “Why wouldn’t God just make sure things turned out differently?” Because He is more committed to love than getting what he wants immediately. The only way the fall would have been impossible would be to take away free will. And without free will there cannot be love–because love is always about choice.

Thankfully, God doesn’t give up when things don’t turn out the way He plans. That’s the reason why we have Christmas. Instead of wadding up the world and throwing it in a trash can, he sent a Savior. He kept dreaming of what could be. 

We can too and God shows us how…

First, God doesn’t waste time blaming Himself when things go wrong or people make poor choices. He didn’t say, “If only I hadn’t created that tree with the forbidden fruit…” He accepted the reality of the situation and moved forward. Things happen. Mistakes are made. Plans get messy. As long as this world keeps spinning, that will continue to be true.

Next, instead of giving up God adapts and comes up with a loving solution. All through Scripture this pattern repeats. Adam and Eve sin. God makes a plan to send a Savior. The people end up enslaved in Egypt. God delivers them and gets them to the Promised Land. Then they rebel in the Promised Land. God exiles them and brings them back. On and on it goes. As many times as it takes. 

God also doesn’t let the plans of others stop him. There will always be someone who is trying to distract, derail, defeat or even destroy you. The enemy thought his plan had prevailed when Jesus died on the cross. But three days later…surprise! God always has his own agenda and He doesn’t become discouraged when others try to stop it.

Most of all, God doesn’t close His heart so He can feel safer. He doesn’t become hard or bitter over life’s disappointments. He doesn’t resort to whining or pity parties. He doesn’t decide that we’re not worth the effort. He just never, ever quits. “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” {1 Cor. 13:7}.

Perhaps this year has held a dream, goal or plan that didn’t unfold the way you hoped. If so, you can know God understands. He’s been there too. And He will help you persevere. He will make sure all that truly matters will happen–perhaps not in the way or time we want but eventually and eternally.

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Prov. 19:21

Those words are even more than a proverb…they’re a promise. And Christmas is proof that’s true.


Holley Gerth

More encouragement like this: You’re Made for a God-sized Dream 
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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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