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.
A few years ago, our family went through an absolute nightmare. We were fighting for the life of one of our daughters because she had decided life wasn’t worth living. At 13, she had harmed herself. And here we are today having survived the storm and we see how even this God has used for good. He has used our story to help other families. He has used my daughter to help save the lives of other teens. Do I believe it was ever God’s desire for my daughter to go through this? 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 like the golden child 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 it 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. 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.
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 a 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. He has restored the years that were lost. He has given us such a harvest it has more than made up for what we went through. 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.