Looking back, what has God used in your life to get you where you are now?
On Sunday mornings, hubs and I watch our church service on television (aired from the week before). The current series is based on the life of Joseph. Today’s teaching was given by our Teaching Pastor Kyle Idelman (God’s at War, Not a Fan, AHA, Grace is Greater, etc.).
Why do we watch it on TV? As many of you know, I have fibromyalgia (and a few assorted other disruptions to a healthy body) and I don’t get out much. And church-going has, unfortunately, fallen by the wayside.
Kyle talked about something all of us should consider: where are we now and how did we get here?
Work backwards. “Reverse engineering,” Kyle called it.
He told the story of how he became a preacher. Not an expected tale. Set in motion by the, um, yucky restrooms of Taco Hut, where he worked as a teenager, and culminating in the pulpit. (You’ll have to listen to get the, uh, interesting story. The whole series is excellent, as always. It’s only about 37 minutes long. What Holds You Back: Your Success)
Sorta like Joseph.
Joseph had a dream, actually two, from the Lord that his brothers (in the first dream) would bow down to him (Gen. 37:5). The period from there to the reality of the story in Genesis 45 lasted 13 years.
He endured the afflictions of being hated by his brothers and thrown into a pit and sold into slavery and accused of rape and thrown into prison, and held to the hope of a promise of being mentioned to the king and the forthcoming release, but was promptly forgotten.
However…was Joseph discouraged? Did he feel God had abandoned him? Did he give up on God? The Bible never mentions any of that. Maybe he experienced some of it. We don’t know, but Joseph continued to believe. Through all his hardships, he believed in God and believed in the dreams his God had given him.
And he knew God was with him. He said that “God who has fed me all my life long to this day.” (Gen. 48:15 NKJV)
When Pharoah wanted Joseph to interpret Pharoah’s dreams, Joseph said…
Can’t you image that was Joseph’s life’s quote? Maybe it could be yours.
Has your situation lasted and lasted, with no end in sight? Have you felt forgotten? Discouraged? Have you turned your back on God?
He hasn’t forgotten or turned His back on you. God wastes nothing that occurs in your life. God takes everything in our lives and blends it all together to get us to the point of recognizing that it is He who has the best plan for us. He uses it all (Rom. 8:28) for the best outcome.
God is still with you. His hand is still at work. Don’t give up! Cling to His promises.
God has done it in my life. He has used my illness (and all the others things in my life) that I might write for Him, to reach out, as I never could before, to others around the world suffering through whatever kind of circumstance, so they may know He is with them through it all, bringing them comfort and peace.
And now, I say just like Joseph did, “It is beyond my power to do this…but God can.” (Gen. 41:16 NLT)
So what is your answer? Looking back over your life, using reverse engineering, what has God used in your life to get you where you are now?
*Don’t forget: October is Pastor Appreciation month!