For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate [it]? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”
I am not a planner. I rather intensely dislike planning, in fact. And there is a reason for it. My plans can be frustrated by just about anything. I might plan some romantic gesture for my wife and the plan is frustrated by her having a terrible day at work or our daughter being particularly challenging. I might plan to leave early in the morning so as to be on my way home earlier and that plan can be frustrated by any number of things. Last weekend, I made general plans to sit and work on a personal project or two. Other things intervened and the weekend included no such thing.
But God’s plans are not so. When God decides that He is going to do something, it gets done. When God sets things in motion, they remain in motion until they have reached the place where God wants them to stop. Not shy of the mark or past the mark, but precisely on it. Paul will later restate this concept with particular application to the process of salvation when he writes that He Who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.
This is a source of comfort. The Bible is chock full of promises made by God (like the promise that He will complete my salvation) and likewise filled with statements about His plans for me and for the world. To know that these promises and plans will be fulfilled is comforting. I need to be careful not to appropriate promises that are not meant for me, but every promise that is given to me will be fulfilled; every plan God has made for me will come to fruition. Because no one can frustrate God’s plans. Or, as Isaiah puts it: For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate?
The application for me is one of comfort. Not every message need be challenging or corrective, and this one is not. This is comfort. God will finish what He began in me. Though the progress seems to crawl along at a snail’s pace; though I think I am frustrating His work, the thing God has planned for me and my life will not be frustrated. Not even by me.