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Today’s Truth

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

(Genesis 50:20, NIV)

Friend to Friend

God is faithful. He can use all circumstances for His glory. Let’s take a brief look at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37–50). Joseph was a man of integrity who did right in the eyes of the Lord, yet he faced hardship, betrayal, and temptation. As a young man, he was less than humble a few times with his ten older brothers. Okay. Straight up, he actually came across as a puffed up little braggart. His bragging fed the jealously of Joseph’s brothers because he was clearly their father’s favorite child. Now granted, Joseph threw gasoline on the fire of this jealousy when he gushed about the dreams God had given him, but imagine how he must have felt to be thrown into a cistern and sold into slavery by his very own brothers! It chills me to the bone. Through it all, however, “the Lord was with Joseph and he prospered” (Genesis 39:2).

He found favor in the eyes of Potiphar, a leading official of Pharaoh in Egypt, and gained great position, privilege, and prestige. Not bad for a guy who’d been sold into slavery, huh? God was with him through it all. Potiphar trusted Joseph and placed him over all that he owned.

His circumstances had taken quite a turn for the better…until our man Joseph was wronged again, this time by Potiphar’s lying, lustful wife. Although he nobly resisted her sexual advances, Joseph was imprisoned when she falsely accused him of attempted rape. In the darkness of a dungeon, Joseph again experienced the lavish light of God’s faithfulness as he was granted, “favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (Genesis 39:21). He quickly rose to a position of power and responsibility among his prisoner peers and was trusted by the warden.

While imprisoned, Joseph met a cupbearer and a baker who’d been in Pharaoh’s service, and when each of these two men had a disturbing dream the same night, God allowed Joseph to interpret their dreams. Joseph told the cupbearer that in three days he would be freed from prison and restored to his position in Pharaoh’s court (the interpretation wasn’t quite so favorable for the baker). Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him to Pharaoh, but on the third day, at Pharaoh’s birthday feast, the cupbearer was reinstated and Joseph was forgotten. How frustrating would that be?

Two years later, while Joseph was still in the dungeon for doing the right thing, Pharaoh had two dreams that troubled him greatly. “So he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him” (Genesis 41:8b). Finally, the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh of his ability to interpret dreams. Pharaoh sent for Joseph, who—with God’s enabling—interpreted the dreams, and Pharaoh rewarded Joseph by placing him in charge of his palace and his people.

After Joseph was placed in charge of the whole land of Egypt, he worked with integrity and fervor. He collected and stored all the excess food from the land in preparation for the famine that God had revealed, through Pharaoh’s dream, would come. There were seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. The years of famine were severe, and during the famine, Joseph sold grain to both the Egyptians and to people of other lands.

Ultimately, the famine brought Joseph’s brothers and father from the land of Canaan to Egypt for a God-reunion and restoration that only the Lord could have arranged. In spite of all the pain he endured at the hands of others, Joseph was able to tell his brothers in kindness, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”

Joseph really got it.

He saw the big picture.

Though we’ve had to rush through this story, the take-away is clear. Joseph paid a high price for sins that had been committed against him, but through the trials, he was blessed richly as God eventually used each circumstance for His good.

My dear sister, God is able to redeem anything and everything that we face or endure. Anything! No matter what you’ve been through, no matter the secrets you’ve been hiding or accusations you’ve been listening to, God is able to redeem you.

Do you believe that? He is waiting to show you the big picture. If you’ve been holding something back from God or resisting His healing, then it’s time you take your faith and trust to another level. No more safe living.

Let’s Pray

Dear God, Help me to see the big picture today. I surrender my pain of __________ to your greater purpose. You know all I’ve been through…and I know that you are faithful, compassionate, and able to redeem anything. Please turn my hurt into something that can be used for Your good!

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Write in your journal about what’s been redeemed in your life or spend time in prayer about what you would like God to redeem.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Write this on the tablet of your heart today. Commit it to memory!

More from the Girlfriends

If you want to read and study the Bible, but don’t know where to start, this is for you! Girlfriends in God cofounder Gwen Smith has several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word. These studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudy to learn more.

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Gwen Smith’s book, Broken into Beautiful.

7 Responses to “When The Big Picture is Blurry”

  1. Teresa says:

    The story of Joesph is amazingly beautiful. I sit here and think to myself how did he ever “forgive” his family for what they put him through. YES. God was with him. But his family was not. They betrayed him. Wanted him dead.

    In every pain and betrayal, God is faithful. BUT.

    Nothing will ever erase the pain of suffering caused at the hands of another. How does a person ever find healing once the initial pain is over. How do we as people stop reliving the past agonies of horrifying abuse and losses that will NEVER be regained again. How?

    I wish i could be a saint. And wave my hands and say its okay. But the truth is its not okay. It will NEVER be okay. The things that were taken from me can NEVER be regained, repaired or restored. Its forever gone. Forever!!

    What Now?

    The truth is, I want the perpetrators to die. To suffer forever in eternal damnation. I am consumed by anger and hate and almost unbearable pain. I wish I could die. (Just to escape the pain). I know on some level its wrong to feel this hate. I do.

    I want to heal. I just don’t know how. Its seems impossible.

    Guess i need to know…where to begin. HOW do i ever find healing? I tried talking to God. But so far it hasn’t helped. NOTHING has helped. I am stuck in this hellish pit of pain and suffering.

    What do i do? Where do i turn. Where do i find relief? I’m about at the end of my ropes. I am at a breaking point.

    Thanks for reading my note. Sorry it wasn’t more uplifting. I usually am NOT this self centered. Guess i’m Just at a low point this morning ..Sorry!!

  2. Rhonda says:

    I’m praying for guidance and healing in whatever is causing you so much pain.

  3. Maryellen says:

    @Teresa. I am sorry for you pain and your hurt. God understands your anger and he will see you through your healing process. But it is a process. You will need to go through it. I hope you have a supportive people around you to help. Know that I will be praying for you!!

  4. heidi gardner says:

    Teresa
    I will be praying for you and for God to show the next step in forgiveness for your life. Remember forgiveness is to heal you not just the other person. Have a good day and keep looking to God for help.

  5. Karen says:

    Teresa:

    I know that you are truly hurting. Don’t apologize for opening up. It is important for you to remember that God did not cause your pain. God is your healer. He knows every tear you cry and every pain your heart feels. Only he can remove that pain. I don’t know when or how I just believe that he can and will. He promised in his word to never leave us or forsake us. You said that God is always faithful and you are right. In your own strength you can not overcome this but Philipians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. That is his promise to you. He will help you to get through this. I can’t relate to your suffering but Jesus can. He suffered greatly, even death caused by others. He found it inside him to forgive the very ones that took his life. Your healing will only come through His strength. Pour out your heart to God in prayer. I know that you said you have prayed but the word says Pray without ceasing. He is a very present help in your time of need. I am going to agree with you today in prayer and ask God to visit you right where you are and give you the comfort you are seeking. Earnestly seek him today and don’t stop praying until you reach his throne of grace.
    I don’t believe in coincidence. You didn’t read this devotion by accident or reply with your heartfelt message by chance. It is all part of his perfect will and part of the process that will bring about your healing. You said you are at the end of your rope. Tie a knot and hold on. Hold on to Jesus.

  6. Stacy says:

    Teresa, You are human and you feel every bit of pain any human would feel. I know Joseph felt terrible pain and thought vengeful thoughts as well. I would too. No, no one is a saint. That is why we have to rely on God’s strength to get us through. It takes one day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time. One second at a time until we fully rely on God’s strength to get us through. He WILL help you physically, mentally and spiritually overcome EVERYTHING you have been through. God, right now I pray that you give Theresa your supernatural strength to deal with and overcome ALL that she has gone through. God, I pray that as Theresa is still she feels your overwhelming love and compassion flood her soul. In Jesus precious and mighty name. Amen

  7. Alexandria says:

    I did not find any words in Genesis that framed or inferred that Joseph was a “braggart” or “puffed up.” In Genesis, it says, “they hated him (his brothers)and could not speak to him on friendly terms.” Apparently, Joseph had lived his whole life deeply despised. I see his brothers described as being filled with “jealousy, hatred, rage, and murder.” The message of his dreams were intended by God to not only encourage Joseph as he lived in that hostile environment, but I think it was intended to give his brothers a chance to repent and humble themselves before God Himself. Is it bragging for Joseph to speak the dream that God showed him if it is indeed Gods message? Or does God use it to expose the level of evil intent in the heart of his brothers? I think the latter. We see God is a refining fire, and His truth is like a two-edged sword. I believe that rather than hide the Sovereignty of Gods plan by keeping the dream to himself,(it never says that God told Joseph to be quiet about Gods plan) he spoke it out as a prophecy-Gods truth and divine will that did what it was supposed to do-establish that men are subject to the will of God and to fully expose the sin nature of his brothers. Joseph is expressed with the highest integrity throughout the story, and that integrity was the x-ray that God used to expose the evil intent of his brother’s hearts. The lesson being that the truth of God, no matter where it comes from, should be revered and obeyed as if God were standing there saying it Himself-but because His brother’s hearts were so full of evil-even to the point of murder, God exposed them ahead of His fulfillment in Joseph’s life to establish His authority. It’s a good question to ask…do we, as Gods people, only accept what we want to accept of Gods divine will and authority over our lives-or do we bristle and judge another person for speaking the Truth of Gods ways because it reveals places in our lives where we are not fully submitted to Gods truth?

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