Tuesday, December 16, 2014

But God Intended it ALL for Good

Christmas 2014. 
Sounds like something out of "Back to the Future". 
Almost 2015???

I have been on this planet for 37 years. Almost 38. 
I am a blip on the radar screen of time. 
So are you.
I wasted the first 20 years of my life so I have only really lived 17 years with purpose.
What purpose?
To share the gospel and the Word of God.
To FINISH the race, not just start it.
Because the race gets hard. :(
Especially when there are traps to cause you to fall and get hurt.

I have been thinking of Joseph so much lately and how much of his life involved pain and disappointment. Disillusionment and loneliness. Yet God was WITH HIM.
Joseph was a total hunk (like Tim)
"Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man"
Gen 39:6

People say the girls are so much worse today. There may be more aggressive girls today than there used to be but there is nothing new under the sun. Potiphar's wife was the first real cougar who couldn't get what she wanted...
(you've gotta read this! don't skim it)

"Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded.
 But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible.  One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work.  She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.
 When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled,  she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed.  When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.”
 She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.  Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said.  “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”

She didn't get what she wanted and her passion for him 
turned quickly to revenge. 
(that's the difference between lust and love, btw... single girls- just know that lust can change in an instant and his lust for you can turn to hatred... get away from sexual sin)

Wow, this story makes me mad. 
She framed him!
 She had his cloak so it looked really really good for her.

She got away with it!
(or did she?)
 Only God knew what really happened in that room.
Potiphar even bought into it after he KNEW Joseph was a righteous man.

"Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her.  So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.  But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. 
And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.  Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.  The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed."

So, by now Joseph has every (wordly) right to be mad at God. "Good grief, Lord! I tried to do things right and this is where it got me? FORGET IT".
But He doesn't. He serves the Lord WHERE HE IS. In a pit, in a prison, in a kindgom. He doesn't change. He is human and I appreciate that. He shows deep emotion when he sees his brothers for the first time (after they left him to die and then sold him for money). That pain was deep and REAL.
 He wasn't emotionless or unhurt through all of his sovereign disasters. He wanted out of prison. He didn't like it. He asked the cup-bearer and the baker to help get him out.
"And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I’m here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it."

So, of course the cup-bearer is going to get him out, right?

"Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought."

2 YEARS pass before the cup-bearer decides to mention Joseph to Pharaoh.
Joseph had a tough life. He had a lot of hardship. His life seemed unfair.
And, if you don't understand the sovereignty of God, it was.
But at the end of the story, Joseph says something to his brothers that I can't get out of my mind. Most of you know this verse...

"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."
Gen 50:20

So, I always thought of this verse in terms of the redemption in our own lives. The enemy tries to harm us but God uses it for good in our lives. But, WHOOPS, that is not really what it says.
It says it is for OTHERS.
I believe God does bless us when we persevere and suffer well (like a good soldier). He blessed Joseph. God saw all Joseph had gone through and He blessed him in every way. He gave him a family of his own and material blessings and leadership positions.
But God's heart was primarily focused on OTHERS.
This has helped me as I try to process things in my life that are unfair and make NO SENSE.
It has helped me understand that THROUGH SUFFERING God is bringing me to a place where I can share the gospel with MORE PEOPLE.
God prioritizes the lost because He knows we are taken care of.
He is with us in prison.
He blesses us in spite of the attacks of the enemy.
He isn't concerned with us as much as He is the lost. 
If you are suffering...If you are disillusioned....If you have been betrayed or falsely accused... If you have been forgotten or used.... If you are lonely and wonder WHAT IS GOING ON....
I'll tell you what is going on (if you desire it to be)----
The enemy intended to harm you but God will use it for good and for the saving of MANY LIVES.
Ask Him to use your suffering for the saving of many lives! Tell Him He is welcome to use your suffering for the benefit of the gospel and others.
Ask Him to give you a heart for the lost like He has. A heart that prioritizes others FIRST.
A heart that wants opportunities to minister to people in great need.
Ask for an understanding to KNOW that He is doing what is BEST.
Best for us and best for being able to help others.
It won't feel "best". I am sure it didn't feel "best" for Joseph but look at how many lives Joseph impacted.

The Christian life is not easy but IT IS WORTH IT.
Being right with God is worth the enemy's attacks.
Being used by God... to be a vessel for God... to reach the lost is the reason we are ALL "blips" on the radar screen of time. 
The way you live matters.
The way you understand God matters.
That is why you HAVE to read your Bible or the enemy will take over your thoughts with lies. 
We have to be "brainwashed" by the Word everyday.
We have to be yielded to God so that if He allows us to suffer for doing right,  we know it is for our good and for opportunities to minister to the needy. 
I think God knows that if we had never been needy ourselves, we probably wouldn't look twice at a hurting soul. But Joseph understood deep pain so he must have had deep compassion.
If you hang in there and trust that God will use your circumstances for the furthering of the gospel, you will see it with your own eyes.
I know I have.


I got off facebook because I didn't have time to do it anymore. I seriously don't have any free time. I missed writing on my blog. I missed not being distracted and tempted to check facebook instead of reading the Word. I want more time with kids. I think it was making me have ADD. :)
I will miss all my friends on there so much but I felt like it was time.
I feel like God is doing a new thing in my life.
A new work birthed out of death and pain.

I want to be a vessel for the Lord.
I want my life to be a "watersprings" for the thirsty.  
God's Word is truly the living water the world is dying for.

 We are up to our eyeballs in house remodeling.
Its coming along so beautifully.
I can't wait until we can have space for people to come.
I dream of doing Bible Studies in front of this fireplace...

I bought a new bracelet. It helps get my mind back on the "right things".
If Joseph had dwelled on his circumstances, he wouldn't have made it through it all.
He kept serving God and doing his best.

Tim is still a total hottie. Single girls, God preserves dreamboats.
The other day I was crying to Tim thanking him for giving me a new life and a family and VALUE. He said, 
"I didn't give you value...
God did."
(**Insert HORSE CRY**)

Godly guys do exist. 
He isn't perfect but He is a man after God's own heart and he loves me WELL. 
I still get butterflies when I look at him.

Raising 6 children is intense and rewarding. 
I love every minute I get with each child.
I love watching them learn and grow and succeed!
Reece won his first wrestling match Sunday! 
(he lost the second one)
Wrestling is a cool sport. Reminds me of the spiritual life in so many ways. I understand why God used the word "wrestle".

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Eph 6:12

I hope there is still someone out there reading my blog now that I am not on facebook anymore. There is a thingy you can click on that notifies you when I update the blog.
Please stay in touch through email!

Be Blessed and know that God is with you 
and intending ALL of this for GOOD.


abigail said...

I love you. This was refreshing!
I wanna give up FB too... Again...agg.

Plus you are a BABE and I love your bracelet

The Yarbrough's said...

That's a good picture of you and your family. Love it!!

I think it's so sweet how you talk about your husband. It's like ya'll are newlyweds. Precious.

I thought my husband and I were the only ones on the face of the Earth that don't have Facebook?! lol Too much drama for me. I think I would spend way too much time on there. Time I definitely don't have.

Anonymous said...

I have never followed you on Facebook, I've never commented on a post, but I have been reading your blog for years. Please never stop sharing your heart. You inspire me, challenge me, and bring spiritual joy to my life.


Stacy said...

I was disappointed to see that you would not be on FB anymore, but I totally understand! I know that I spend more time on it than I should. I look forward to hearing your heart more here. I never miss a post and have read for years. In fact, I think you only had two children when I found your blog. I remember you were very ill and I prayed often for answers. We have both added a few children, though you are one ahead of me. :) Merry Christmas, my friend.