"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
Michael Dupree is in jail for burglary and cocaine possession.
The court says he has to stay in jail for 12 years.
That, however, hasn't stopped Dupree from filing a $500,000 law suit against the three men who caught him with a bicycle he had stolen from a van in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Dupree says Anthony McKoy and two other men pointed a gun at him, handcuffed him, and placed a knee painfully in his back. He maintains their unnecessary roughness "resulted in permanent disabilities and psychological disorders."
Anthony McKoy, one of the targets of the lawsuit, says, "I thought it was a joke. I'm the victim."
Over the years I've noticed that many people, many sinners, try to do the same thing to God. By that I mean they try to make Him the bad guy for their sins and all of the pains and problems of this world.
If someone comes down with an illness, if someone is killed in a war, if someone is involved in an accident they demand to know why is God doing this? Why is He punishing me in this way?
The truth is sickness, conflicts, and problems are the results of sin, not some vindictive and irrational personality trait in the Lord. Indeed, the Bible says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
If anyone doubts the Lord's sincerity in making that statement, all he need do is take a look at the Bethlehem manger or Jesus' Jerusalem cross. There they will see God's love in the Person of the Savior; there they can behold God's great grace as His only-begotten Son gives His life as a ransom for sinful humankind.
The substitution of God's perfect Son for sinful humanity, and the ongoing blessings of the Lord held out to those who don't deserve them means that this day believers can be thankful. They have been saved by grace, redeemed by the Deity who has plans for wholeness for us, who wishes to give us a future and hope.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, You could have dedicated Yourself to making me suffer for all I have done wrong. Instead, You chose to save me by sending Jesus to live, die, and rise so I might be forgiven and given eternal life. May all I do reflect my gratitude. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries