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. - Genesis 50:20
Joseph: Because God Meant It For Good...I already knew Joseph's story, however for some reason the title of Chapter 2 in Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur didn't quite grab ahold of my heart until after I read the chapter. Joseph's story is truly one that inspires us all to remain faithful in God and move forward with what He needs done in our lives and not what we want done. In the end, we see that God's way is the way where our blessings come.
Chapter 2 tells the story of Joseph in full detail. I highly recommend that if you haven't done so already, read Chapter 2 and learn about Joseph and his heroic life and how God did amazing things through him. Below are the points that the author made that inspired me the most.
* Unlike those who breed a seething hatred and desire for vengeance, Joseph treated his brothers with undeserved favor. But how do kindness and love get cultivated in the heart of one so wickedly treated? The answer is found in Joseph's theology-he had a clear understanding of God's providence. p.22-23
* God is in control and we can trust Him for the outcome. p. 23
* ...the Lord used Joseph's suffering to accomplish His sovereign purposes. To be sure, God had some practical life-lessons for Joseph to learn along the way. But He had a far bigger matter on His mind... p. 23
* As New Testament believers looking back on Joseph's example, we can see the principle of Romans 8:28 fleshed out in his life: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." p. 23
* ...though Joseph did not suffer because God was punishing him for sin, he did suffer so that God could ultimately save sinners. p. 23
* ...we also know that while the Lord never condones evil, He does overrule it and accomplish His purpose out of it. p. 27
* The Lord was perfectly in control. p. 30
* But God had neither forgotten nor abandoned Joseph. p. 31
* He understood that God had used him to preserve his family and to bring them down to Egypt. Everything was according to the Lord's will. p. 37
* Three times, Joseph emphasized that God's hand was behind it all. p. 37
* His trust in God's providential power outweighed any feeling of personal animosity toward his brothers. He recognized that everything that had happened to him was part of the Lord's perfect plan. p. 38
* He came to understand that God had a purpose in his suffering... p. 38
* We may not always understand what is happening around us, but like Joseph, we can rest confidently in the fact that the Lord is in complete control. p. 39
* We need to be anxious for nothing because our Heavenly Father reigns over all. He is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-present, and He has promised to work all things together for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). We have nothing to fear because if God is for us, who can be against us? No one can oppose His will, and nothing can thwart His plans (Isaiah 14:27). p. 39-40
* ...we can trust Him and wholly rest in the reality that He is on His throne. Embracing that kind of perspective won't take our trials away, but it will enable us to find joy and peace in the midst of them (James 1:3-5). p. 41
As parents with children on the spectrum, I think we all have a lot of those moments when we don't understand what's happening. We have no idea what to do next. We research, we pray, we consult each other to hopefully find the answer on what can help our children. I think we can all take comfort in what John MacArthur pointed out in Chapter 2...We may not always understand what is happening around us, but like Joseph, we can rest confidently in the fact that the Lord is in complete control.
As I type this, I am sitting in a doctor's office with my son who not only has autism, but has PANDAS as well. He is currently sitting beside me receiving his IVIG treatment. Between the OCD, anxiety, speech delay, social delay, PANDAS flares, prescription meds and natural supplements, I often find myself not understanding what is going on and what I can do to help. Through Joseph's story, I can rest assure that if I put all my faith in God and do what He needs me to do, in the end it will all work out the way He needs. I just have to make sure I'm spending the time with Him so I can be sure that I hear Him and know what He needs for me to do next. I have to prepare myself daily to trust in Him and know that He is in control.
"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 one." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. - Genesis 50:19-21