One of the my favorite, and probably also your favorite, scriptures is the highly quoted verse, Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This verse comforts us when we find ourselves in situations we don’t understand and it helps us to ease the regret of our past mistakes and failures. When we find our life suddenly struck with tragedy or hardship, or if we are the victims of some kind of injustice, we can have hope and faith that what the enemy intended to HARM us, God can use to HELP us.
We can have the peace in Christ that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7), because we trust that God has us right where we are supposed to be. He knew we would be there, and our journey is not yet over. The truth is we cannot comprehend the ways of God, we just have to trust Him and have faith that He knows what He is doing.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
One of the most incredible stories that illustrates the incomprehensible ways of God is the story of Joseph in Genesis 37:1-50:26. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he rose to be the second most powerful man in Egypt second to the Pharaoh. When famine struck the land, Joseph found himself in a very unique position when his brothers came before him and their lives were literally in the palm of his hands. When Joseph finally broke down and revealed his identity to his poverty stricken brothers, we see one of the most amazing examples of how God can work in our lives–by taking the bad and using it for good.
“And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please come near to me.’ So they came near. Then he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.’ ” Genesis 45:4-8 (emphasis mine)
Joseph’s faith in God was so strong that he was able to look at his situation through God’s eyes, from God’s perspective. He didn’t feel sorry for himself, he didn’t have a pity party because of the injustice done to him, he just believed God would use it for his good and bloomed where he was planted! Even though what his brothers did was wrong, he forgave them and saw that God used it to elevate him to a higher position and through him to save the lives of everyone! (Quite the foreshadowing of Jesus’s work on the cross, wouldn’t you agree?)
“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.” – Genesis 50:20
As we navigate through life we must always keep in mind that God has a perspective that we don’t yet have, and if we put our faith and trust in God and His sovereignty, things will work out exactly the way they are supposed to. Remember this story and these verses, when the route you are traveling in life, seems to be taking you in the wrong direction:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105
“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him …” – Psalm 37:23
And lastly remember when the winds of adversity seem to blow your way, and the challenges and turmoil seem to much to bear:
” … If God be for us, who can be against us?”– Romans 8:31b (emphasis mine)
What situations in your life do you need to find God’s perspective on? Can you trust that God will work it all together for the good if you just trust in Him and His purposes?