God works in ways that are “mysterious!” Have you discovered that yet?
God’s methods often leave people totally bewildered. Why would God tell Joshua and the children of Israel to march around the city of Jericho for a week (Joshua 6:1–4)? What good could possibly come from Paul and Silas being arrested and beaten without cause (Acts 16:22–24)?
The processes God uses can be baffling at times! The Bible and the testimonies of Christians down through the ages are brimming with true stories of how God turned situation after situation, problem after problem, life after life, completely upside down—and He often does it in shocking ways!
The life of Joseph is a good example of the mysterious way God sometimes works (Genesis 37:1—50:26). In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” In this statement Joseph summarizes the events of his life, beginning with the evil his brothers did to him and ending with his recognition that it was all part of God’s beneficent plan to rescue His covenant people (Genesis 15:13–14).
There was a famine in Canaan where Abraham’s descendants, the Hebrew people, had settled (Genesis 43:1), so Joseph brought all of them out of Canaan and into Egypt (Genesis 46:26–27). Joseph was able to provide food for them all because he had become governor of Egypt and was in charge of buying and selling food (Genesis 42:6). Why was Joseph in Egypt? Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery some twenty years earlier and were now dependent upon him for their sustenance (Genesis 37:28). This irony is only a small part of what happened in Joseph’s life; If Joseph would have had a choice whether or not his brothers sold him into slavery, it’s reasonable to assume Joseph would have said “no.” If Joseph had been given the choice whether or not to be imprisoned on false charges (Genesis 39:1–20), again, he probably would have said “no.” Who would willingly choose such mistreatment? But it was in Egypt that Joseph was able to save his family, and it was in prison that the door opened to the palace.
God “declares the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10–11), and we can be sure every event in the life of a believer serves God’s ultimate plan (Isaiah 14:24; Romans 8:28). Do you believe that? How may that change the way you live your life today?