As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
God has written every part of your life. In Psalm 139:16, the psalmist said, “In Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” Do you realize that before you drew your first breath, God planned every incident and every detail of your life? None of it was left to chance. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” As somebody has said, “God not only plans our steps, but He plans our missteps and even our stumbles.” God is in control of all things.
I know that raises all kinds of questions: Does that mean we are nothing but puppets? Does that mean we have no responsibility? What about free will? But notice that in Romans 8:28, Paul did not put this in a negative light. He said it as a very positive truth. In other words, when we are assaulted by adverse people and adverse circumstances, we can know that it is not accidental; the incidents in your life are not accidents in your life. God has a purpose behind everything that happens to you, and nothing happens to you that He has not allowed–and yes, even planned.
The greatest illustration of this in the Bible is the Old Testament story of Joseph. Think of all the adversity Joseph faced in his life. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. As a slave in Egypt, he became Potiphar’s right-hand person, but then he was falsely accused of raping Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison. While he was there, Joseph’s friends forgot all about him, yet the Bible keeps saying, “The Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2, 21, 23). Finally, through a set of miraculous circumstances, God placed Joseph as Pharaoh’s right-hand person in Egypt. When the worldwide famine came, Joseph’s brothers came from Israel to Egypt to purchase food, not knowing they would be making their request before the brother they thought was dead. Joseph had every right to exact revenge, but he chose instead to forgive his brothers. And in a classic statement to his brothers, he looked them straight in the eyes and said, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Joseph did not try to sweep what they did under the rug. He did not say, “My brothers, surely you were just having a bad day.” Or, “It is our father’s fault for playing favorites.” He did not do any of that. Instead, Joseph looked at his brothers and said, “What you did was evil–there was nothing good in it at all. But guess what? God is bigger than you are, and He took the evil that you did against me and used it for good to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive.” God is in control of all things that happen to us.
God is working in your life right now. God is in control of every situation, and He is working all things together to accomplish His purpose for you.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Greatest Promise in the Bible” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.