ODJ: hard things

October 7, 2015 

READ: Genesis 37:5-28, 50:14-21 

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people (50:20).

South Africa’s electrical grid has long been stretched, but when a coal silo at a power station collapsed, it led to months of widespread blackouts across the country. The power outages were initially frustrating, but citizens quickly adapted to the daily 2 hour blackouts and worked around those times. Generators were employed, people bought fewer perishable foods and they were careful to make sure the washing machine cycle would finish before the electricity went off for the day.

God has created us with an incredible ability to adapt to our ever-changing circumstances. Joseph had many painful experiences which helped him adapt to his leadership position in Egypt (Genesis 37:18 - 41:39-40). In his youthful arrogance, he boasted to his family about the seemingly outrageous dreams about his future that God gave him (37:5-10). His brothers became so consumed with jealousy that they sold him into slavery and told their father he had been killed by a wild animal (vv.18-33).

Joseph was sold to Potiphar, a captain of the palace guard for Pharaoh, king of Egypt (v.36). Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to rape her, and he was thrown into prison (39:10-20), but the Lord was with him and gave him favour with the prison warden (v.21). When God helped Joseph interpret the strange dreams of Pharaoh, he was released from prison and became governor of Egypt (41:8-36).

When we shift our focus and choose to see God at work in all things, we experience His peace and presence. Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (50:20). God walks with us through difficult times and can use them to bless us and others.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day-plan: Acts 2:1-13

Read John 16:33 and consider what Jesus said about experiencing His presence even in the hard times of life. 
What difficult circumstances are frustrating for you at the moment? Ask God to give you His perspective and seek the good He can bring through each challenge.