You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. — GENESIS 50:20
God is always at work in ways that we will not be able to comprehend during our time with only our experiences. As leaders, we tend to define what God is doing based on our experiences, our geography, and in our time frame. God intertwines all of our experiences in all the world in His perfect timing to order His will. We shouldn’t become so myopic in our thinking that what we see is all He is doing or, worse, take what I see God doing in my experiences and project that on others as if God will only act in a certain way! Do we trust Him enough and are we present enough with Him that we can accept the diverse tapestry He is weaving together for our ultimate good and His ultimate will?
Let’s take a look at an Old Testament Patriarch family to see how this idea can play out. You may remember the story of Joseph, great-grandson of Abraham, in Genesis 37-50. Joseph was a favorite son of his father Jacob. He was despised by 10 of his older brothers and sold into slavery by them at 17 years of age. He was a slave to the captain of the guard in Egypt where he was elevated to manage the household, then was framed for a crime in which he was innocent. He was thrown into prison where he stayed for years, again elevated to manage the prisoners as a prisoner himself. Then through a series of interpretations of dreams for the Pharaoh’s officials and the Pharaoh himself ended up as the second most powerful leader in Egypt at the age of 30. God revealed to Joseph that there would be famine in all the land and he planned for that time by storing food. Due to the famine and a series of miraculous circumstances he was reunited with his family and moved them to Egypt to settle.
God was with Joseph. Even though he faced unbelievable circumstances all through his 20’s he was faithful to God. As his purpose and his life unfolded before him, he gained an understanding of his trials. He could have harbored bitterness towards his brothers for what they did, but because of this perspective that God gave him, he was left with only forgiveness for them. As his brothers pleaded for their lives, Joseph expresses this perspective in Gen. 50:20 where he said to them “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Think and Pray
Do you have a clear vision for what God’s purpose is for your life, or are you trying to force your vision for your life onto God?
Heavenly Father, please help me to be content with where you have me today and willing to follow wherever you lead me next, Amen.
Marty Hepp is Chairman of CEC Corporation, a civil engineering firm headquartered in Oklahoma City. Marty writes marketplace devotionals for CBMC while also leading a weekly CBMC Connect3 team and facilitating a Young Professionals group as well. Marty serves on the Area Leadership Team for CBMC in Oklahoma. His passion is developing leaders who disciple men to maturity in Christ.