Genesis 50:19-20 19But Joseph said to
them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the
place of God? 20You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to
accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
The example of Joseph’s life has always reminded me of how God can take something so off course and create something so good. Joseph seemed to be a victim of evil intent in so many ways throughout his life. Yet he created some of his circumstances through an arrogant streak when he was young that just fed into his brother’s jealousy. Once he was sold off, Joseph would prosper only to find a roadblock each time. Yet God still elevated Joseph…time and again. God’s plan for Joseph was years in the making. The final result was the saving of God’s people.
A passage relating to this theme is Romans 8:28: “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.” Joseph is the poster child of this verse. In every situation we see that Joseph called on God, obeyed God, and loved God. I’m sure he got discouraged, felt fear, was alone, and had some questions. Even though he had the normal human response, he did not lose faith and in the end he knew that God was faithful.
I believe two things: One, God has a master plan and His work will be done whether we join Him or not. Two, God has a plan and purpose laid out for us. As far as number one is concerned, the only choice we have is to join Him or not. If God has a plan and purpose laid out, we will not stop Him. No matter how bad it may get and no matter how many times Satan tries to detour God’s plan; God will prevail. His good and perfect will is going to succeed. God will take the bad and make something good come from it.
As far as His purpose for us is concerned, I need to look no further than Joseph. Joseph actually had seen a fore shadow of what was to come through his dreams as a young man. God had a purpose for Joseph’s life. And even through human selfishness and Satan’s plans to derail God’s plan, Joseph still fulfilled the purpose God had laid out for him. No matter where I am in my life journey, I can rest on the belief that God has a purpose for my life.
I do want to note a couple of observations about Joseph’s life. I believe that God both allowed some things to happen in Joseph’s life and administered some discipline. Some of what Joseph experienced was purely based on bad human intentions coupled with Satan’s attempt to derail another of God’s chosen. However, some of what Joseph experienced was also God’s discipline (like the kind written of in Hebrews 12 that produces a harvest of righteousness). Both allowed Joseph to grow up and be the mature, wise leader the Hebrews needed.
So, as we deal with both the roadblocks that come with evil intent and the discipline that God the father incorporates in our lives; we need not lose our focus on that fact that God has a plan and purpose for us. Ultimately his plan and purpose will prevail. And I hope that I am like Joseph. I hope that I can see the end result and that I recognize that it is God who carried me through.
1. Where in your current life situation are you seeing evil intent that seems to be getting the way of God’s purpose in your life?
2. Where do you see God’s discipline being carried out in your life?
3. Explain the differences between the two in your life.
4. Describe a past life situation where good came from bad.
5. Pay attention this week to your current life situation. Note where there is evil intent to derail your purpose. Also note, where God could be “growing you up” through His discipline.
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