There’s one thing that helps me when going through a problem. One thing that gives me permission to still find joy on the journey when the journey is darn hard. This one thing is knowing down deep within that there’s a purpose. There’s a purpose in my problem. There’s a purpose in my pain. There’s a promise being fulfilled and a purpose being developed.
We can take a lot … as long as we know it’s not all for nothing. As long as we know somehow or another it’s going to be used for something good. As long as we know this long hard road is leading somewhere worth the journey.
Time and time again in the hardest parts of my life, there has been a single scripture I’ve repeated. When someone comes to me struggling to live a good life today because of a nightmare childhood, there is a single scripture I share. When someone comes to me in the middle of a crisis that doesn’t make sense, there is 1 scripture. Today, in the middle of a season that doesn’t make sense, I come back to that scripture. Today, perhaps as you feel stranded in a desolate land of disappointment and defeat, I share that scripture.
Genesis 50:20 – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
There is a purpose for everything you’ve gone through. How God is going to use it all may still be unknown to you, but you can trust nothing will be wasted. What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you? God wants to use it. What painful thing has happened to you this year? God wants to use it. Your problem is positioning you.
My family has gone through a few hard times in past years. We are here today having survived the storm and we see how God has used it all for good. He has used our story to help other families. Do I believe it was ever God’s desire for my daughter to go through this, for my Dad to go through this, for our family to suffer? No. But it happened. And when bad things happen and we invite God into the process, God goes to work using it for good.
I bet your family has a story as well. A story of struggle. A story of storms and mountains. Are you still clinging to that heartache? Are you replaying the story over and over again in your head of how unfair and painful it was? Or have you surrendered it to God and let him work? Can God use it? Oh you bet he can!
You likely know the story of Joseph in the Bible. He was the favored son of Jacob. Out of 12 boys, Joseph was like the golden child. Now favoritism never sets a family up for unity does it? This was a recipe for disaster from the beginning. Joseph was highly favored by his Daddy and his 11 brothers were highly jealous of him. They were so jealous of him they threw him in a pit and left him to die.
That wasn’t good. Of course this was intended for harm, but God saw it all and said “I’m going to use this for good.”
Joseph had to be set apart because God wanted to use him to save the lives of his entire family in the future. He was being positioned. Positioned by a problem. Then Joseph goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. And again it was all used as part of God’s plan for good to him and his family. Nothing Joseph went through was wasted. There was a bigger purpose in everything.
And my sister, the same is true for you. You are being positioned for God’s favor. You are being placed in alignment with your purpose. Your problem is your positioning to bring you in alignment with your purpose.
Funny, I always thought favor and purpose would feel a whole lot different, how about you? I envisioned lottery tickets and overnight success. I envisioned big grand breakthroughs and turn arounds. But instead God works more through crisis than lottery tickets. He leads you through problems to take you to your purpose.
So here’s our challenge as we’re being positioned for God’s favor and aligned for our purpose in the strangest and most painful and unexpected of ways …
Refuse to get bitter.
Refuse to dwell.
Refuse to get even.
Refuse to be pitiful.
Decide today that you’re going to trust what God is doing in your life, through you and for you. Trust that everything you’re going through may not be from the hand of God, but God said he could use it. Trust that God sees something in you and he’s growing you to reach the potential he placed in you.
Joseph, the brother who had been left for dead, the man who had been thrown in prison, the one forgotten about time and time again, was ultimately used to bless and save his entire family. And here’s one thing for sure … God didn’t forget about him. Everything that was taken from him, he got back. Everything. Joseph proved he could be trusted with God’s favor. He proved he would be faithful.
And this is what we do today. We prove we can be trusted. We prove we will be faithful.
In the book of Joel we read about people who for four years had no harvest. Everything they grew was eaten by bugs. Four years of hard work wasted for nothing. And God told them “I will restore the years that the locust has eaten.” God promises to do the impossible. He promises to give them back the time that was wasted. He gives them so much harvest that it makes up for all that was lost.
I will tell you this is what God has done for my family in the past. He restored the years that were lost. He gave us such a harvest it more than made up for what we went through. And now, I’m counting on him to do it again.
And he wants to do the same for you. He wants to use it all for good. For your good. For the good of others.
Won’t you let him work in this? He will.
Although some of the things going on in your life today were intended for harm, God is going to use them all for good. All of it. The purpose in what you’re going through right now may be unclear, but one day you’ll look back and see just how God was working to position you.