What stood out to me today was the line:
How glad I am that You’re so good at reaching down and making something beautiful out of even the worst situations!
That’s something I’ve heard myself saying quite a bit lately. Sometimes we get caught up in the here and now, we forget to look back. Sometimes we are so caught up in the wrongs done to us, we forget to look at the blessing coming out of them. The Praise, as written, goes on to talk about Joseph.
How encouraged I am when I think how You did this for Joseph … how his brothers hated and abused and betrayed him, and how You worked these things out for blessing, both for Joseph and his family and for countless other people.
What brothers are you dealing with right now? What slave traders are dragging you away? Do you have a Potiphar’s wife spreading lies about you? What prison have you been thrown into?
We allow the ugly to hide the beauty. We could look at things differently, if we really wanted to. Think about it.
Joseph was the one that saved everyone else from the famine. If the brothers hadn’t sold Joseph, he would have probably perish with his family because of the famine.
If the slave traders hadn’t come alone, Joseph would have died in the pit his brother threw him in.
If Potiphar’s wife hadn’t falsely accused him and he wasn’t thrown in prison, would his gift have become known? Would he have been brought to Pharoah? How many people would have died?
The other thing we tend to do is hang on to bitterness, resentment, anger, and a whole lot of other poisons despite the good we see. Why? All they do is harm ourselves, they don’t harm anyone else. They don’t serve any kind of purpose. Here is the hardest question to ask ourselves: IF, that’s a big word here, IF we truly believe that God is in control, that he has our back, that he really does love us, who are we really angry at?
IF God is in control, why would we be made at our brothers, after all, who let them do what they did? God is either in control or he’s not.
IF God is in control, was it really Potiphar’s wife who put Joseph in prison? God is either in control or he’s not.
It’s so easy to think of God when we give praise and thank yous, isn’t it? “Oh, this was a gift from God.” “God blessed me because he freed me from prison.” So does that mean God only controls the good things? Does someone else control the bad things? Does that make ‘someone else’ as powerful as God? Maybe even more powerful?
Yes, it’s a hard pill to swallow and can even be the reason some people lose or give up their faith. But without some bad things, we wouldn’t have the best thing we ever could. Not following me? Think about these things: betrayal by a friend, false accusations, lies, beating, ridiculing, and death. Without any of those, we wouldn’t have the blood of Jesus to cover our sins now would we? If these had happened to you, who would you be angry at? Judas? The soldiers? Pharisees? Pilot? Who? Let me remind you of something that Jesus said just before any of this stuff happened from Luke 22:
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
So many times in my life, my roughest, hardest, and most trying times are also where my most powerful testimonies come from. I don’t remember those times because of the bad that happened, I remember them because of the good that came out of them.
So you can sit there and be hurt and upset with your brothers and your family. Enraged at your slave traders and the soldiers. Frustrated because of your Potifphar’s wife and Pharisees. Disappointed in your Potifphars and Pilots. Or you can simply say, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” And then wait to see what beauty He will bring from the ashes. It all depends on where your trust lies … who you REALLY believe is in control.