We see so many people who are successful and it is so easy to think that their success came easily. We look at people with successful lives, ministries, families, marriages and we can start to wonder why they are so successful and life has not worked out for me. If we are brave, we put in an effort to get to know them and then ask them their story. Nearly every time, each person has been through incredible pain, challenges and have even been to the place they have felt like giving up. But now .... they are at the 'good' part of their lives. Are you sometimes concerned that you have not yet got to the good part? How do we get to the "good part" in life and what do we need to go through to get there?
This is a very encouraging message that is not a "blab it grab it" or just bless me focus, but God is taking us through hard times to get to the blessings He has in store for us. We have to go through the hard things to get to the blessing. There is no shortcut or simple pathway. Knowing God is good, we then can endure the tough times and challenges with the mindset that God is both training and positioning us for the "good part". Trust God, be faithful to what He has given you to do and walk in integrity. God is positioning you, preparing you and putting things in place so you can walk in the blessing He has for you. The change is coming .... it could be any day.
Life is and will be full of tough times and even though it feels sometimes almost impossible to get through. God is encouraging us to keep moving forward ... as the best is yet to come!
The last thing we see in Joseph's life in the last chapter of Genesis. One of my favourite verse in the Bible is "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Genesis 50:20. This was an incredible statement that seems to indicate that Joseph was able to see God's hand in everything that was happening in his life and he was at peace. Did he see God's hand in his life from the betrayal of his brothers, the being sent to prison for doing the right thing and being overlooked by two people he interpreted dreams for when they were released from prison. (Even though one died) Or did it take time for him to wrestle with God and over time he was able to see what God was doing?
To begin with, what does "good" mean? The word 'good' is common. This is not 'good' but it gives goosebumps. Is it 'life-changing or 'amazing? The words stupendous, mind-blowin and ridiculous are much better than 'good'. To understand what 'good ' means in the context of the Bible we would use a superlative.
When we read the story of Joseph carefully, we can see the incredible challenge he had to receive his brothers back and forgive them. He tested them, cried out to God and wrestled with God about what had been done to him before he got to this point. Steven Furtick makes a very interesting link between the beginning of Genesis and the end. In chapter 1 verse 4 we read, "And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God looked in the midst of the darkness or chaos and said it was "good". In the same way, Joseph was able to look into the chaos of his life up to then, and see the "good" God was doing in the midst of the darkness or chaos. In the end, God's plans in and through the darkness brought hope, a release from inevitable starvation and for Joseph's whole family to be brought back together.
In Psalm 23, we read about God looking after His sheep with a rod and staff. This rod and staff are good for the sheep and bad for the wolf. We need to trust God. Push through to get through the valley to get to the table. Say, "I will make it to the table. I have to get through the shadow. I will make it!"
To finish, it is important to realise God wants to give His children good gifts. In James, we read:-
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17.
Many people do not get to the good part. They stop playing the guitar before the calluses form. They fall off the bike and then sell it before they realize the blessings of riding. They leave the job before the breakthrough comes. Remind yourself that God is good and wants to bless you. Thank God for what you are going through, learn and grow in your situation and finally, be ready for the change, promotion and/or blessing. Hang on... The blessing is coming!