Today’s Scripture: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Filled with dirt, bruises, and cuts, Stephen stood in the midst of the angry crowd. One heavy stone after another was hurled through the air aimed at a man who had lead the most pure, honorable life one could imagine. To the average onlooker, Stephen probably appeared to be no more than a selfish criminal receiving due justice-a human failure in the process of being destroyed. His young life was being torn from him. For what?

A man named Saul was there keeping the coats of the attackers at his feet. The future great apostle Paul was being impacted at that very moment. The Lord was at work through Stephen’s final example. Though no one knew it, when Stephen gave his life, his seemingly senseless sacrifice would make an impact that would rock the world for Christ for years to come.

Sometimes it just looks like God’s will isn’t panning out. Nothing seems to be going as expected or hoped. What are you going to do? Maybe you feel like throwing your hands up in defeat. It seems as though nothing is fitting together, rather, it is falling apart before your eyes. You feel like a crumpled up failure thrown in the trash. Friend, God is not finished with you, in fact, He never will be. You are so much more than a failure. You are the future of our faith. Stand strong, and keep serving. God has big plans for you!

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder