One of the things that we need to understand, in our bones, is that the plans we think are correct may not be the plans of God. Paul had an agenda. Fairly simple.
- Get the giving for the Jerusalem Church to Jerusalem, which should have promoted unity and gratitute between gentile and Jewm.
- Visit Rome after that, to encourage that church.
- Go to Spain, so he had preached to the ends of the Roman Earth.
None of this happened. His appearance in Rome with Gentile (Greek) associated precipitated riots. He went to Rome in Chains, and there, according to all records and knowledge, he was martyred.
We cannot understand this. His plans looked reasonable, prudent, Godly, Just. But God had a different approach. Paul was to present the gospel to Caesar himself.
22 For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; 23 but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you 24 whenever I go to Spain—for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while— 25 but now, I am going to Jerusalem, serving the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to do them a service also in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; 32 so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and relax in your company. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
We have to plan, yes. Then we get sick, or something happens. The plan we had gets thrown out the window.
And we have to learn to praise God anyway.
We are not in control. God is. The more he uses us, the more we will find that out.
If you want an easy life, compromise with the world. But that trap will damn you.
If is far better to seek God, though that may take us where we never planned to go.