You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
These are the words of Joseph in response to his brothers’ request for mercy. Their intent to harm him had failed and Joseph had become the second most powerful leader in Egypt. Out of jealousy, they sold him into slavery. But God had a different plan for Joseph’s life.
In Romans 8:31, Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God uses us for His good purposes and blesses us DESPITE the evil intentions of our enemies, and threatening circumstances of life. No person or situation can keep us from God’s unfailing love.
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
We know that faith is not what we see, but what we don’t see. (Hebrews 11:1) Although it may appear that nothing is happening to deliver you from your difficult situation, God is working behind the scenes, directing people and events to align with your need. He will help you in His time and in His way. While you wait, He grows you in the faith and teaches you to rely on Him and not yourself.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
When Joseph’s brothers sought to get rid of him, he was purchased as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. In time, Joseph became Potiphar’s personal assistant. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph and attempted to seduce him, but he refused. So she falsely accused him of rape, and he was thrown into prison. Again, Joseph was in what looked like a hopeless situation. But God wasn’t finished. Contacts in prison miraculously opened the door for Joseph to work for Pharaoh which ultimately led to his high government position.
Joseph was sold into slavery in his teens. The time of reunion with his brothers and their request for forgiveness didn’t come until he was in his thirties. But in all that time, God was moving the pieces of Joseph’s puzzle, putting everything in perfect alignment to vindicate him.
How desperate and hopeless Joseph must have felt when he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Even when it appeared his life had turned around, a lie sent him to prison. Falsely accused. Treated as a criminal. Held captive amidst thugs and murderers. He had to have felt lower than low. But God was still working.
God knows what you need, He loves you, cares for you, and wants the best for you.
Whenever I’m in a bad situation, I believe God will answer my prayer. I don’t know how, nor when. But I am confident He is working behind the scenes, preparing my blessing, and at just the right time He will come through for me. He always has. I have no reason to doubt that He always will.
Thinking about God at work, even when I can’t see evidence that anything has changed helps me get through hard times. Today’s disappointment just means that God has something better.
If on this day you need deliverance, I pray that God will lift your burden and grant His favor.
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September)