01/20/17 God Meant It for Good

READING: Genesis 49-50, Matthew 13:31-58

“God planned it for good . . . .”  Genesis 50:20

Anyone who has studied the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis has likely landed on one famous verse. Jacob had died, and Joseph’s brothers worried that he would take revenge on them once their father was gone for their previous actions against him. That thinking actually made some sense from a human perspective. After all, even though Joseph was now in a significant leadership role in Egypt, the fact remained that his brothers had sold him into slavery years before. They treated him like a piece of property, and now he was in a position to deal with them in response. With one decree, he likely could have imprisoned them – but he didn’t do that. Instead, he recognized the sovereignty of God over even the injustices he had suffered: “But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people’” (Gen. 50:19-20).

I must confess that do not know if I would have been so forgiving. I hope I would have tried, but I might have struggled comforting them and offering them caring words as Joseph did. Certainly, the world doesn’t readily understand that kind of love and forgiveness. It’s a miraculous kind of forgiveness based on the love and sovereignty of God. Joseph was able to see that God had sent him to Egypt ahead of his brothers so they might be saved (Gen. 45:7). God was working everything for good even when all looked bleak.

I suppose some might say, “Well, it’s probably easier to see that truth when years have passed and you’ve become a ruler in Egypt – but what about the rest of us? Most of us are trying to figure out life from much less prominent positions.”  That’s where the Word of God so clearly intersects our lives that are often filled with sin and injustice. Accounts like Joseph’s story remind us that God really is working all things for His glory, even when we cannot see the end of the struggle. One reason God gave us Joseph’s story was to challenge us to lean on Him when life mistreats us. He is still in charge, and we are to trust Him in faith even when it seems that evil is winning.

Delay, discouragement, and defeat should not cause us to give up hope. God will work it all out; He will fulfill His plan.

ACTION STEPS:

  • Trust that God is using whatever you face today for His intention and glory.
  • Remember a time when God used difficulty in your life to teach you something about Him. Thank Him for that experience.·         

PRAYER: “God, I need to trust You fully today, especially if life is tough.”

TOMORROW'S READING: Exodus 1-3, Matthew 14:1-21