Some call it providential… Others use lesser words…
An early morning conversation, along with the pathway of a blog, woke up this thought within my self this morning. With a huge sigh of relief, I once again take the load off my shoulders and allow the plan of God to work out according to his will!
We often struggle with the challenges that happen to us. People. Jobs. Finance. Problems. Even those that seem far from our position create consternation on how we live our life. Name one problem from somewhere around our globe and you will find someone close to you that is strongly affected by the problem and the results.
Honestly, it can be as simple as the change of technology (and I’m think particularly about a situation with a certain bank and how it affects the remote school district in Alaska), or a law changing that goes against foundations we have stood on for thousands of years!
Some things we point at specific people and declare they are the root of our current predicament, while other things come from complete strangers.
This morning I am dealing with some things that do not make sense. My prayer. My conversation with a friend. My predicament. All led me down this path of thinking and research.
How do we put God into the equation of life when the world seems to be topsy turvy? Isaiah declares a foundation of thought that is instrumental in determining the world around us.
God said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:8-11 ESV)
God accomplishes His Word. Promises. Judgments. Hope. Despair. Life. Death. God has a plan. He sets it in motion. We are blessed and cursed based on how we chose to live our lives. Some results are blessings in disguise!
The key is that I must live my life remembering constantly that not all things that seem to be bad are bad!
Do you believe this?
Consider Joseph in the book of Genesis. A favored life. Loved by his parents, he was presented with a coat of many colors. Yet, he was dealt a life of dreams that did not bode well with his brothers. They faked his death and sold him into slavery. He ended up in Egypt and a series of fortunes and misfortunes. High. Then low. And finally in a position of power second only to the Pharaoh as the result of yet another dream and a promised famine.
When his family came to Egypt to buy food, a series of actions brought all the brothers together. Eventually Joseph revealed himself to them.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came near. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. (Genesis 45:3-5 NKJV)
Notice something peculiar here. Joseph, almost in the same breadth, condemned his brothers for selling him into slavery, while at the same time declaring that the result of their action was God and it was for God – “…for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
In fact, it is even clearer a few chapters further.
Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:19-21 NKJV)
What was meant for as an evil act, God meant it for good… What someone does against you for evil, God can take the same action and turn it around for good! Does he always do this? I suspect not. But God can take what is meant for evil and turn it around for good.
In fact, when evil and problems arise, I start looking for how God is going to change the results into something Good! Maybe this is the true blessing of looking for the silver lining in a storm cloud!
Consider this: The evil that was meant by the brothers is recognized by other writers as something that God turned to good (Acts 7:9, Hebrews 11:21-22). This testimony is alive for thousands of years after the event and it gives me hope that when man tries to do evil, God converts the results to good.
In fact, it’s the Wisdom of God that makes things work from the actions of an evil and perverse nation and people.
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “HE WHO GLORIES, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD.” (1 Corinthians 1:21-31 NKJV)
So. As things remain topsy turvy and upside down, I simply wait on God and look for the good. It’s there. I know it. Maybe it comes only after a lifetime of experiencing the ups and down s of daily living…. Wait for it… Wait for it… There. Something good came out of the evil of others!