“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
–Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Have you ever baked something like a cake or cookies from scratch? If so, you’ve experienced the fun of pouring individual ingredients in the big mixing bowl. Did you ever consider how each ingredient would taste by itself? Some things, like chocolate chips or frosting or nuts, would taste great. But things like flour, salt, baking soda or shortening wouldn’t taste good at all. Only when the ingredients are mixed together does the full cake or cookie batch shine, in all its delicious glory.

I didn’t cook too often before I got married, but I know that many ingredients are needed to create a good cake. I’ve also learned that God’s plan for us works in a similar way.

We tend to look at our lives as individual situations happen. Sometimes we’re feeling great about what’s going on in our lives, but at other times we’re down in the dumps.

But God knows every little thing about us, and He can see beyond our individual circumstances. We don’t often understand God’s grand design, because we can only see so far into the future. God knows what will happen every day of our lives, and He has made a wonderful promise to you and me: If you choose to follow Him and believe in Him, He will make all things work together for your good. That means that every situation you’ve ever experienced, and everything that is to come, has been arranged by God in order to help you grow in faith and in obedience to Him.

Are you in a situation that’s tough to bear right now? If not, thank God for giving you joyful times for the moment. If so, pray and give all your cares and concerns to God. Most importantly, I encourage you to reflect on your situation and figure out which lesson or truth God is addressing in your life.

It may take some time to get over your own emotions in this tough time, but God will be there to guide you through each and every day, because He wants to form you into His own image. And once things have settled down a little bit, find some time to pray and ask God how this situation can help you to grow.

This may sound strange to you, but God wants you to rejoice in all of your circumstances, good or bad. Of course you don’t physically enjoy your situation. But according to the book of James, we are all meant to thank God for all of our trials, because He is using each tough experience as an opportunity for growth in your relationship with Him.

If you don’t have Jesus in your heart yet, I encourage you to get acquainted with the Bible, pray and humbly ask Him to save you from your sins and take over your life. If you choose to join God, He promises to take the ingredients of your life and bake them into a beautiful cake. It may be a chocolate cake when you wanted vanilla, but it will definitely be beautiful in God’s eyes, and you will find that He knows exactly what He’s doing in your life.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, check out our online store at www.amway.com/burdicksbargains. In order to support us, please register for free on our store website before purchasing anything. Thank you!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.