June 1st 2009

God Meant It For Good

“As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people.”
Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

The life of Joseph was anything but peaceful.

It was wrought with youthful folly, broken dreams, and some mean-spirited actions by other folks that seemingly overshadowed any wrong initiated by Joseph.

Yet he remained a man remarkable for his lack of bitterness or regret, always seeing God as the “Great Engineer” behind even the worst of circumstances.

In a final confrontation with his brothers he graciously noted, “You meant it for bad; God meant it for good.”

The theology packed in that statement is astounding.
It means you’re free to accept the past.
No sin, no action, no choice on your part is too big for God to handle.

You can come to peace with your past because God, even in the midst of your free will, is still in control, and He can take any situation and work it to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Just ask Joseph.

Better yet, ask his fearful and famished brothers, who were forced to rely on him for survival.

God meant it for good means you can embrace the present.

There’s no need to play the “what if” game.
The past is gone, and no energy expended can change it.
The future is in God’s omnipotent hands so you are free to focus on the present.

Your job is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, trusting Him to forgive the past and transform the future.

Martyred missionary Jim Eliot once wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there,” not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future.

God wants you in the present because that’s where His grace will flow.

God meant it for good also means you can look expectantly toward the future.

Even if you make mistakes today, God still controls your future.
Walking in the Spirit, you can live life to the fullest, unafraid of making mistakes and unconcerned you may stumble into some terrible circumstance that takes you out of God’s control.

Even when things appear to be terrible you can know God, the One who created you, may be working out some divine plan through you.
And He’s not interested in your comfort as much as He is with your character development and the Christian development of those around you.

Yet a walk of faith requires you make a decision, and then stick with it regardless of consequences.

It’s often in the midst of consequences that we chose to bail out, or become bitter, or decide surely God wouldn’t want me to suffer this way.

But that was alien thinking to Joseph, a man who took the worst the world had to offer and still saw the hand of God in it all.

How would your life be different if you could see God’s hand in your current circumstances?

Prayer
Father, You have promised to make all things work for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purpose.
I choose to believe that You are working good out of my current situations.
I trust You that Your purpose is greater than what I can see with my eyes.
Amen

Study by Fraser Murdoch

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