Message: In Genesis 45 when Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers he tells them not to be angry at themselves for selling him to Egypt because he recognized that it was GOD who sent him there to preserve life. Thinking back through this story I specifically remembered that Joseph had those dreams depicting his place of authority and showing his family bowing before him. It was God who gave him those dreams to reveal the future. The dreams definitely fueled his brothers’ anger and resentment towards him, but ultimately their actions facilitated the plan of God. I think we struggle with this in our own minds because we want to assume that anything difficult or painful comes from Satan, but we are unable to see the bigger picture and we give Satan a bit too much credit for orchestrating things.
Command: It is not necessary to assign blame for things we don’t understand, and I think that when we do, it causes us to miss the bigger picture. We can’t possibly know what God has planned through some of the hard things we face.
Promise: Regardless of the hard things we encounter, we know that God has promised that he will never leave us or forsake us. Joseph had the favor of God all over his life even while he suffered through what felt like the hardest opposition!
Warning: When we assume that every hardship we go through is coming from the enemy, we tend to position ourselves to battle against what very well could be a move of God. Remember that Peter had the same response when Jesus told him he was going to have to die on the cross. To him it sounded like negative opposition but it was actually God’s plan for redemption! If I am viewing every interruption or difficulty as opposition I might get stuck praying for and waiting for God tor reverse something that he is actually trying to send me through!!
Application: This reminds me that I don’t need to assign blame to the hardships in my life. I don’t even need to know whether it is God or Satan at work! I just need to go through every experience with my eyes on Jesus and allow him to work whatever he needs to work in me through it. If I do this I will be ready for whatever God wants to do in me and through me.