God Knows What He is Doing

And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28

Os Hillman tells a story about how God’s purpose can prevail over our plans. From a very young age, Samuel Morse had a strong desire to be an artist. He had talent and was able to master his craft. Finally, the day came when he was able to sell some of his work. But the fulfillment of his dream was short-lived. It was difficult to make a living as an artist, and he suffered a series of personal setbacks.

Heartbroken, Samuel went to Europe to mull over his situation. On his return trip–aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic, Samuel heard about advances in electromagnetism. “If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted by electricity.”1

Samuel worked hard. Acting on what he had learned on the ship, he invented the telegraph and developed Morse Code. Eventually, his projects received needed funding. In hindsight, Samuel said, “The only gleam of hope, and I cannot underrate it, is from confidence in God. When I look upward, it calms any apprehension for the future, and I seem to hear a voice saying, ‘If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?’ Here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence.”2

Without Samuel Morse’s initial inventions, we might not have faxes, e-mail or the Internet today. God’s plans are not always our plans, for His plans often carry an even greater purpose. “The LORD works out everything for His own ends–even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:4).

1. What plans do you have that must continually be given over to God?

2. Why is it difficult to put our plans aside and trust in God even when we read Scriptures such as Romans 8:28?

Psalm 18:1-3

1. Samuel Morse, quoted in “Glimpses,” issue 99 (Worcester, PA: Christian History Institute, 1998).
2. Ibid.

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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