Agree with me that our thinking is rigid. Either something is what we want, or it is not what we want. Either God let us down or he has not. Let us challenge this attitude.
What happens in this life has eternal consequences. Good or bad does not represent God’s attitude toward us. In fact, it is very likely that bad things must occur so that good things can happen in the future.
None of us would volunteer to have bad experiences with some uncertain potential prospect so that good will ultimately happen. Every one of us prefer to avoid what is unhappy, unhealthy, or unpleasant. This is where faith must be extended beyond our logic. This is where our trust in God must recognize the circumstances of the present and yet submit to God’s ultimate goal.
Joseph in the Old Testament is a prime example about what I’m speaking. We have in his story human trafficking, slavery, false imprisonment, beatings, and so much more. This originated at the hands of those who should be most trustworthy, his brothers. He and they were never on the same page spiritually. He had big dreams in which he would be excelled above all his other brothers, and they did not like what he told them. He made enemies of his own family.
We can freeze focus on any part of the times of Joseph from his misery to his royal position in Egypt. He had no idea that God would use him in such a magnificent way for a divine ultimate purpose. All Joseph knew was that he was being abused. All he knew was that there was no one that looked out for his own best interests other than God.
It was many years that he endured the sufferings initially caused by his brothers and then later on by others. He had to endure and endure and endure all of the moments of his unhappy life. Certainly, anyone in his position would question God, would be hurt by what appeared to be a lack of God’s protection.
Now let us fast forward beyond those years I mentioned. We find Joseph as a prophet to Pharaoh and the one who became the savior of the Egyptians by overseeing the storage of food for an upcoming seven-year famine. Joseph was elevated to the position second under Pharaoh himself. He then enjoyed luxury and majestic treatment. He was honored and valued by the Pharaoh.
Looking at it from God’s perspective, all that Joseph experienced was necessary for him to be over the day-to-day life of an entire nation. At any point we could freeze-frame and ask the question of God – why. At any point we could tell God that it was so unfair what Joseph experienced. Even though a lesser man would rebel against God, Joseph was a man of God that could be used for his purpose.
Keep in mind that Joseph and his brothers were the forefathers of the Hebrews, the Jewish nation from which Jesus would be born. In the long string of time the terrible things Joseph experienced, was through God’s divine guidance to the establishment of the Israelite nation and the birth of Jesus.
Backtrack with me. Our salvation depends on the birth of Jesus. The birth of Jesus depended on the establishment of the Jewish nation. The Jewish nation depended on the brothers of Joseph as the forefathers. The brothers of Joseph depended on his position in Egypt to offset the famine.
The ultimate position of Joseph depended on his ill-treatment and abuse. Would you take away from him the opportunity to be God’s man of the hour though he had to go through the moment of the horror he knew?
You may right now be experiencing difficult times. You may wonder if the difficulties will ever end. In specific, what you do not know is the “why” to your situation. If you remain true to God, your experiences are valuable to him and useful for his ultimate plan. Using this life story of Joseph, we can say that it is absolutely necessary for a bad thing to happen so that God’s good things will follow.
By your faith and trust and loyalty, know that what you are experiencing which may be bad at the moment has value to God. Know what you are experiencing is the building blocks of what God wants to do, of what he wants to make in another people’s lives because of you.
Having a relationship with God must include trust in his divine wisdom regardless of what you are currently experiencing. It will only be in heaven that we will learn what good things have happened as a result of your bad experiences. The example you set before others while undergoing your times of trouble is the best testimony you could give. How you suffer will determine how you become a blessing.