Wednesday, January 15, 2014

God's Got This Part 4


God Meant It For Good

God has everything figured out-right? Let’s say you come into the kitchen and you need a meal for ten people, but you’ve got one little problem. You have no idea how to cook beyond boiling water and making scrambled eggs. 

Figuring out shopping is easy enough, but it’s kind of hard to shop for everything when you don’t know what you’re going to need for your meal prep. Sure you can follow instructions on a box, but you were kind of hoping to make a good hearty, healthy meal for you dinner party.

Now let’s say I’m standing in the kitchen. I can easily make a delicious, gourmet dinner for ten people from scratch. But I can’t help you until you come to me and say, “HELP!”

God is standing there with all the ingredients-better ones than we could come up with- the best recipes and he has the plan in place, the seating arrangements, decorations and everything you couldn’t think of all ready to go. We just need to go to him and ask for his help. Then trust him to step in and use his power to work everything out.

True, it doesn’t always work out the way we expect. I fully expected to be driving back from Florida in my sister’s truck, but instead we were in a compact car. But it still worked out for good! My sister originally was going to fly back home, but instead decided to drive the rental car with us. Once again, there was no need for me to drive at all the whole trip back! 

As an added bonus, the truck that broke down…we expected to pay well over a thousand dollars to fix it, but the total cost including towing two hours north was only three hundred dollars. Does God still work when things don’t go according to plan? You tell me.

One of my heroes of the faith is Joseph. He grew up with every need, want and desire provided to him by his father. But his life turned terribly wrong quite unexpectedly. Little did he realize that his older brothers were very jealous of him and resented him. In fact they resented him so much that they actually hated him! The day finally came where they saw the perfect chance to get rid of their younger brother and they sold him into slavery.

Joseph ended up in the house of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, who was the captain of the guard. Despite his troubling situation Joseph refused to allow it to get him down, in fact in his greatest moment of supposed defeat he actually prospered.

Genesis 39:2-6

“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

And he left all that he had in Joseph's hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”

Wouldn’t it be great if during the difficult circumstances others could see Christ in us? Joseph’s testimony showed through so much that even his master could see that there was something different about him.

One would think that after going through such a heartbreaking circumstance that Joseph’s troubles would be over, but they were just starting.

Genesis 39:7-12

“And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, lie with me.

But he refused, and said unto his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.”

Even though the Lord was with Joseph and he prospered he was faced with a serious challenge on a daily basis. Temptation arose in the form of Potiphar’s wife. But Joseph remained strong in his convictions and refused to give into it. It all came to a head when Potiphar was gone.

“And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

And she caught him by his garment, saying, lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.”

Joseph fled from the temptation but he paid dearly for doing what was right. When Potiphar arrived home his wife lied and told him that Joseph had tried to take advantage of her. He had no other recourse but to take action.
Genesis 39:19-23

“And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, after this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.

The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.”

Once again Joseph’s life took an unexpected turn, but God was still with him. The keeper of the prison saw that God was with Joseph and once again Joseph found himself in a position of authority. Because of his testimony two men came to him seeking help, he was able to interpret their dreams and thought that he would be free from prison, but he was forgotten and left to rot.

Eventually, God worked it out in his time and brought Joseph out of prison and he became the second ruler in Egypt-just under Pharaoh. In his new position Joseph continued to prosper and actually was able to save not only his family but all of Egypt and many others from a severe famine.

Through all Joseph experienced, he was able to forgive his brothers and have a restored relationship with his family. He then spoke some very wise words:

Genesis 50:20

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

Whenever I read Joseph’s story I am reminded that there is a greater purpose to all that happens in my life. And even if I can’t see the end result, God can. And all that “evil” that has happened and that others have created in my life can work out for good!

I love how Joseph comforted his brothers in saying, “God meant it for good.” Oh to keep that kind of faith in God to trust that it’s all good! As long as you are living you still have a God given purpose to fulfill. Whether it’s just by praying every day for those you know and love-and even those you don’t know or love-or serving overseas on some mission’s field you are here for a reason! 

Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

So keep doing what you are doing and in God’s time he will bring it about!

To be continued.....

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