Thursday, August 25, 2016

As God Intends

Chuckle: Mortal: What is a million years like to you? God: Like one second. Mortal: What is a million dollars like to you? God: Like one penny. Mortal: Can I have a penny? God: Just a second.
Quote: "I looked at God and He looked at me, and we were one forever." --Charles Haddon Spurgeon

To his brothers, Joseph said, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people" (Genesis 50:20 NLT).
Sometimes we face difficult situations in life which test our faith and our dependence upon a Holy God. It can be difficult for us to see that God is in control and intends to use each situation for His glory and, ultimately, for our own good. We may even entertain the thought that God doesn't really love us or He wouldn't allow these desperate situations to enter our lives.
The story of the life of Joseph is one of the most powerful and inspiring in the Old Testament. Because of his older brothers' jealous hatred, they sold him into slavery. In Egypt, God was with Joseph as he was betrayed, spent time in prison, and later found great favor with the Pharaoh and ultimately attained power and authority second only to the Pharaoh himself. During his early years in Egypt, I'm sure there were many opportunities for Joseph to question the love of God and why his God would allow such terrible things to happen to him. But Joseph's faith remained steadfast.
God brought good even from the evil actions of his brothers. God saw him through the false accusations by Potiphar's wife, sustained him in prison, and used him powerfully to lead Egypt in preparing for and managing seven years of drought so that there was sufficient food not only for the Egyptians but for others who came to Egypt to escape terrible famine. Joseph forgave his brothers and eventually saved their lives, along with that of his father.
As I read the story of Joseph, I was reminded of the powerful words of the apostle Paul in Romans 8:28 NLT). "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Does this mean that everything that happens to us will be good and make us happy? Of course not. However, as He did for Joseph, God is always working in every situation to bring about good in your life. The "good" comes from our being strengthened by God to accomplish His purpose for and through our lives, which should be our purpose as well.
From the story of Joseph we learn that God can bring good to those who trust him even if situations result from evil deeds and trying circumstances. Can you think of some ways God has used your own difficult circumstances for your good, as He did in the life of Joseph?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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