We have just posted a new sermon on the Keep Believing website called I’m Coming to Rome Someday, I Hope. Here’s an excerpt:
Although Paul clearly states his great desire to visit the church at Rome, he cannot say when he will make the journey because he isn’t sure himself. Paul lays out his general priorities, explains his immediate plans, and then says, “I hope to come to Rome on my way to Spain.” This is the way of wisdom. He doesn’t set dates or make promises he can’t keep. The best he can do is to make an indefinite statement. Sometimes in doing God’s will, that’s the best course to follow. Because we don’t know the future, we can’t be sure of how events will play out. When Harold MacMillan was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he was asked what represented the greatest challenge for a statesman. Famously, he replied, “Events, my dear boy, events.” Life has a way of catching us by surprise. We make our plans—and we ought to plan carefully for the future—but our plans do not equal God’s will. Events will intervene.
The midnight phone call.
A sudden financial crisis.
An unexpected pregnancy.
A check in the mail.
“Will you marry me?”
“You’ve got cancer.”
“We’re moving to Miami.”
And the best-laid plans of mice and men will go astray. Paul understood that truth, so when announcing his plans, he didn’t make promises he couldn’t keep and he didn’t set dates needlessly.
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