Summary: Situations and circumstances of life do not define character of destiny. Similar to the life of Joseph, Christians face negative moments to prepare them for the glorious future God has in store for them.
“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 New Living Translation
My brothers and my sisters, there has been one question that theologians have debated for centuries and Christians often become absorbed trying to comprehend – Why do bad things happen to good people? I encounter so many people on a daily basis that seek a real life answer to this question because no matter how much they have tried to do the right thing, sometimes evil is what they get in return.
Truthfully, I have wondered myself (yes even the Pastor) because I have seen countless numbers of people that have shown the utmost love for God and others, yet someone comes along and seeks to destroy them. And yes, in our faith we believe that regardless of the issue, God will work it out and we will understand it better by and by. Yet the question remains… How do you explain that to a woman that has been raped? Or a child that has been molested? Or a Christian that has been the subject of unjust and unfair treatment? Some things are easy to say, but difficult to carry out.
Yesterday, I was in a session with a teenage girl that has suffered abuse. She realizes that it is not her fault, and she is proceeding on with her life but there is one question that lingers on in her mind- Why Me? To minister to her, I shared a synopsis of the story of Joseph, which she is now reading for empowerment.
Joseph was the favored son in his family. His father loved him so much, he gave him a specialized garment made just for him. He often showered his favor upon this dear son and to top it all off – God gave Joseph dreams to be able to see the future and how he would be elevated. Needless to say, when Joseph’s brothers heard this, they were upset and jealous. They staged a traumatic event to finally rid themselves of the issue Joseph represented for them. They abandoned their brotherhood, left Joseph all alone and told the father he was no longer alive. The entire plot was pre-meditated, and for a season they thought they won this battle they assumed for themselves.
Over time, however, a famine hit the land and they had to go to leadership to try to get some help. Guess who had to help the starving familial adversaries? You guessed it right – Joseph. And he did it with fashionable style and in abundance. He showered love upon them even after they exercised hatred against him for no reason at all. After which, these brothers returned to apologized, and Joseph replied to them, “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.”
Dear friend, we can become distracted in life by spending unnecessary time reflecting on the evil that other people have done in our lives. Please do not misunderstand me – I do not minimize it at all. I have been there! I know it hurts you to your core, I know that it is unfair and I know you do not deserve it but greater than all of that, you must realize God has a perfect plan concerning you and it’s not over until God says it’s over.
Joseph did not give up even when he went through the pit or the prison, and as a result God brought him to the Palace. While he was in the palace, God even blessed Pharoah’s house because of Joseph’s presence. Regardless of what evil you may face today as a result of other people or the adversary himself, keep these three things in mind:
1. God is with you
Joseph made it through difficult circumstances because the Almighty God was with him wherever he went. Remember King David recorded in the Psalms, wherever he went God was there – in the earthly realm, in Heaven or in the world beneath – God was there. (Psalm 139) Likewise, in the positive and negative moments of life, you must know, understand and believe that God is with you. He has promised “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:15b) As you walk throughout this day, remember that God is with you and there is a power that is resident with the presence of God.
2. Your circumstance does not define you
Everyone has had difficult moments, made mistakes and experienced misfortune or failure at some point in life. However, it is not the situation that defines you – it is what lies inside of you. I know the world will try to make us think our misfortune is our destiny, but the devil is a liar and a deceiver too!