Do you believe that God is in control of all of the circumstances in our lives? All…even the confusing ones, unfair ones, and downright painful ones? Our small groups just finished up reading through Genesis, and we were especially struck by how dysfunctional the leading characters/families of the book were and yet how in control God was! May I encourage you that the same is true today in our lives.

Listen to the following sequence of enlightening thought from David Guzik, in his Enduring Word Commentary on the life of Joseph:

If Joseph’s brothers never sold him to the Midianites, then Joseph would never have gone to Egypt.

If Joseph never went to Egypt, he would never have been sold to Potiphar.

If Joseph was never sold to Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife would never have falsely accused him of rape.

If Potiphar’s wife never falsely accused Joseph of rape, then Joseph would never have been put in prison.

If Joseph was never put in prison, he would have never met the baker and butler of Pharaoh.

If Joseph never met the baker and butler of Pharaoh, he would have never interpreted their dreams.

If Joseph never interpreted their dreams, he would have never interpreted Pharaoh’s dream.

If Joseph never interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, he never would have become prime minister, second in Egypt only to Pharaoh.

If Joseph never became prime minister, he never would have wisely prepared for the terrible famine to come.

If Joseph never wisely prepared for the terrible famine, then his family back in Canaan would have died in the famine.

If Joseph’s family back in Canaan died in the famine, then the Messiah could not have come from a dead family.

If the Messiah did not come forth, then Jesus never came.

If Jesus never came, then we are all dead in our sins and without hope in this world!

This principle of God’s sovereign rule over every nuance of our lives-including the tough ones-is not just for Joseph but for me. For you. Here are a few compelling reasons to fully embrace this glorious, soothing realization:

It protects us from attempting to dethrone God and assert our own reactionary, vindictive agenda.

Ge 50:19 “And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

It shifts our focus from stewing about the motives of those who have wronged us to celebrating the transformative, redemptive intentions of God that cannot be compromised/stopped by even evil itself.

Ge 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

It motivates us to use what God has allowed in our lives to serve others-especially the innocent bystanders who would otherwise bear the perpetuated brunt of our wrong reactions to the wrongs of others.

Ge 50:21a “Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones…”

It frees us from a reactionary, retaliatory mindset to be able to supernaturally love on the very ones who have wronged us.

Ge 50:21b “…And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”

The issues of bitterness and resentment in our hearts has very little to do with how others have wronged us and has much more do with our inadequate view of God Himself. Guzik concludes his comments on this section of Scripture with this challenging thought, “Often, the problem we have in loving others and in freeing ourselves from bitterness we may have towards them is really a problem of not knowing who God is and trusting Him to be who He says He is.” Where are you allowing what you know about being wrong by others keep you from truly getting to know God? Where are you permitting the broken trust by others to hinder you from fully trusting the Sovereign of every corner and crevice of the cosmos?

Ultimately it is not about “if Joseph never” but “if Jesus never.” Dane Ortlund chimes in here, “Joseph’s brothers wrongly thought he was their harsh overlord. He tested them time and again, though they didn’t see it was coming from their brother. He wept over them. He revealed himself. They saw who he really was. He cared for their every need. Sounds like someone else.”

As an Old Testament type of Christ, Joseph reminds us that without a full dependence upon the God-in-control-of-all things, we would be without the peace, cleansing, and liberty of our salvation as Peter reminds us:

1 Pe 2:21-24 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash

Excerpt from Enduring Word Commentary.