Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
(3) God can turn evil actions of people into His good purposes. Fallen humanity is all about “my Rights”. We struggle and stumble because we see the wicked prosper and evil win. Why does it seem that all the “Cheaters” get away with it? But, ultimately, our sovereign, all-seeing Creator God can turn and work evil for His good providence to mankind. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph say, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Just think about the remnant preserved by God through Joseph’s Saga to product the “Savior of the world” Jesus Christ. Amazing!
So, how can we get to the place where we believe and (ultimately) see these truths? How do we get there from here? Pastor Willie suggested looking at the four things that Joseph refused to do, so that we can get to the place where we can finally embrace our life as a child of God and understand our life journey on this side of Heaven. (1) Don’t seek revenge. Revenge is never fruitful. The old saying goes: “When seeking revenge, dig two graves; one for them and one for yourself.” Revenge is not going to work out for us, ever. Wisdom is “skill for a thriving life”. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines “wisdom’ as the right use or exercise of knowledge; the choice of laudable ends, and of the best means to accomplish them. This is wisdom in act, effect, or practice. If wisdom is to be considered as a faculty of the mind, it is the faculty of discerning or judging what is most just, proper and useful, and if it is to be considered as an acquirement, it is the knowledge and use of what is best, most just, most proper, most conducive to prosperity or happiness. Proverbs 20:22 tells us, Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.” Do not take the attitude that “I will get you back for what you did”. God said in Deuteronomy 32:35 “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” We do not see or know God’s “bigger picture”, so let God take care of it.
(2) Do not grow cynical. Ever have a “bad day” when you ask, “What else can go wrong?” Sometimes life gives you lemons, but you don’t need to be sour. It’s easy to ask, “Where was God when bad things happened in my life?” Joseph trusted God and never did. (3) Don’t become defiant. When everything went wrong, Jobs wife suggested that he “curse God and die”. When “bad” things are happening, don’t get angry and blame God. Instead, know that we rarely see God’s plan and purposes in the bigger picture of what He is working out for us and our future good. Being cynical and defiant stalls and delays a happy, wholesome life journey from moving forward. Avoid it like the plague.
(4) Do not allow discouragement to grip and hold you. Proverbs 20:24 says, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” How can we understand our own way? We may not be able to understand it, but we can know that God is in charge and in control. Most of the time, we only have a partial picture of what’s going on. We need to go with the light that we have. Once we go out to where we think that the light ends, it actually doesn’t; it goes out further and we can see. One of the ways that we can live out our lives and not become discouraged is to understand that God gives us the light that we need as we need it. What a great attitude it is to not allow discouragement to grab, grip and hold us. Know that our sovereign God is at work towards His greater purposes; even bad things for good.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
It is still true today and will be for all your tomorrows. The best thing that we all can do is trust the Lord with everything we have (heart, mind, body and spirit), because He has a bigger plan for your path and your future.
In Christ, Brian