Do you ever look back and notice you wouldn’t be in a better place if it weren’t for some bad past events? Walt Disney was fired as a newspaper editor. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. And Luke Skywalker’s uncle and aunt were killed.
This one is a pretty simple concept, but is easily overlooked while we’re in the middle of it… Simply…. God wants to place you in a different position so you can do something you wouldn’t if you stayed where you are. I’m not talking about consequences of your own actions, but actions outside your influence.
The best example of this is in Genesis with the account of Joseph. Look at all these major hardships Joseph had to go through so that God could get him to rule a national superpower. – Sold into slavery… by his brothers. – Falsely accused of sexual harassment… by his employers wife. – Imprisoned for two years. God had to move him from his little town herding his little sheep, so he could save much of the civilized world from starvation. God used bad situations to place Joseph into a position where he could do good. How do we know that? Joseph tells his brothers,
Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive
God will use bad situations to move you into ones where you can serve him better. You know how a wrestler can win by using their opponent’s momentum? Or a wise general uses an enemy’s plans against itself? That’s how God is.
People have their plans, but God in his wisdom can turn it around for your good. God is like an amazing general who beforehand sees the armies, the terrain, the weather conditions – takes all that into account and sets the board. So as things unfold you’ll be moved from position to position – which will be for our good. These elements could be an unfair boss, a terrible living situation, a personal tragedy, health problems, anything.
Just think of the hardships you deal with right now. But again, we must define “good”. True “good” is not temporal things a higher paying job, a bigger house or endless amounts of bacon – true “good” is serving God more and being more like Christ.
So what do we do now?
If Reason #4 of Why Do I Suffer is “To change your position for good”, then ask yourself these two questions
- Do I have faith in the one that controls the entire board (which should lead to peace)?
- If God can turn around other people’s evil for good, will that help me forgive them knowing God turns around their schemes for my good anyways? (Note: read the passage below to see Joseph’s full reaction to his brothers).
Pray and focus on these three things: Faith, peace and forgiveness. As the government passes insanely stupid laws, as your boss acts unfairly, as your relationships get all weird – these are all things that will move us into a different position… …into a position to be better ministers, glorify God more and be more like Christ.
Genesis 50:19-21 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Take time to pray: Pray that God will help you to trust that he is in control and is moving you into a better position.
Today’s Fruit of the Spirit: Peace.