But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today // Genesis 50:20
Whenever I first started college and began to register for classes some people told me about a website called Rate My Professor. If you know anything about Rate My Professor, it’s pretty much like a Yelp review except for college professors. So how does it work? Before you register for a class you look up your school and professor and read the reviews left by the past students. However, the professors' pages aren't necessarily filled with their credentials, accolades, or awards. Because they're not created by the professor, but by the students. As you go through the reviews you see a common trend. Students who received good grades tended to have awesome things to say about the professor. Like “They were great” or “A little tough but I enjoyed their class”. Whereas the students who didn't get great grades would say things like “Terrible, never take them” or “They should never teach again”. Now and then you’d see students who didn't get high grades saying things like “ Great professor I should've tried harder '' but that's rare. Simply put, students don't necessarily rate the professors on their credibility but based on their own experiences.
Many times people do this with God, they base their opinion of Him on their own life experiences or on what's going on in the world. Have you ever heard people say “...Well if God is so good then why __ ?” Or "Where is God when __?" Many people are anti-God because of what they’ve seen around them. But you and I must know that God is good all the time! It doesn't matter what it looks like out there. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He has never changed and He will always be Good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. // Romans 8:28
God doesn't intend any harm
I want to touch on the life of Joseph! As you may already know Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, He was so favored by his dad that he wore a coat of many colors. So it was no secret that He was loved more than His other brothers. His brothers became so jealous of him that they threw him in a pit, sold him as a slave, and he eventually went to prison for something that he didn't even do. After being in jail for many years he eventually got out and gained a position in the palace. However, it wasn't until after He had his position (which is his promise), and a family of his own that Joseph received true redemption. As he reunited with his brothers and made amends with them he stated this, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good..” At that moment Joseph could’ve said a million other things and blamed his brothers for all that he had gone through. But he simply gave God all of the glory for where he was standing at that moment.
He recognized that God wasn't behind all of the betrayal and disappointment, but that God had a plan. Not for evil or harm, but for good! Let me remind you that Joseph’s process to his promise took 13 years. He went without many things! He was probably hungry, tired, ill-treated, and felt alone, but he didn't walk away from God! I don't know the details of everything that you’ve been through or what you're going through right now, but always remember that God is good. Even when bad things happen, God is behind the scenes allowing those things to work for your good. The enemy has a plan, but God has a better one! Don’t blame God for what you’ve been through, praise God for what you’ve been through because it’s a part of a greater story!
God isn't good because of what He has done, but because of who He is + It’s in His nature
No one can top God! He could retire today and He has already done more than enough. All of mankind's efforts put together couldn't even compare to God’s goodness. It’s easy to believe that God is good because He has done so many huge and awesome things. But even if God had never done those things He would still be good! God can’t help it but to be good, it’s all He knows how to do! In the same way that you and I may naturally be good at some things be it sports, music, or cooking, God is naturally good!
God only associates with goodness + God can only produce good things
In the book of Genesis, we see that when God created the world, each time that He completed a hard day's work He said that “It was good”. He was satisfied with His handiwork because it didn't cease to be impressive. The Bible even tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made because God can only create good things, He knows no other way.
Seeing God’s goodness requires faith
Even as Joseph was in prison he continued to use his prophetic gifts for the glory of God. Not for his own efforts or because he was bored, but because he believed that God was good. He probably didn't know when he would leave or what would happen next. But he heavily relied on the Lord! I don't know about you but I want to be faithful! I want to rely on and remember the goodness of God even in my darkest hour. Remembering the goodness of God will get you through (especially) when life is tough! It will place a standard in your life, a reminder that there is more for you beyond your struggles. Joseph knew that he could depend on God despite what he had been through because God wasn't finished with him yet. As long as you have breath in your lungs God’s not done with you! You have a reason to be here and a gift to share. Allow the Lord to use you and remember to show others that He is good!
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So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
// Philippians 2:10
God knows that He is good, and soon so will everyone else
God doesn't need us to tell Him that He is good, He knows that He is! Nothing could convince Him otherwise. In the gospels, as Jesus was being tried in front of Pilate He didn't even defend Himself. In fact, He simply accepted the death sentence to be crucified. He could've done/said more to get himself out of the situation but He didn't. Instead, He died a selfless death for us and took on our transgressions because that's what He came to do. As He hung on that cursed tree He knew that redemption was coming for His loved ones, but He also knew that one day everyone would know the truth. That even those who mocked Him would later realize that He really was who He said He was. The Word even says that "every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord". How can someone confess that without also realizing that God is good? God has simply put an abundance of goodness in all of creation, and one day He will get His response. One day all of creation will echo the truth, it’s inevitable. Whether or not someone believed it when they were walking on this earth, eventually they will know that God is good. So don't wait till the end when everyone else is realizing it. Tell God how good He is now! And while you're at it, tell all your friends that God is good as well.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. // Psalms 23:6
His goodness is eternal
Lastly, we must remember that God didn't create evil, evil crept in because of mankind. So even as we see evil take place in the world we must remember that God doesn't cause those things to happen. We have dominion on the earth, so many bad things that occur are a result of mankind's sins and the nature of living in an imperfect place. But the day is coming when we will only know of His goodness. There will cease to be pain, tears, complications, hate, and evil because we will be in the presence of God for eternity; and there is nothing but good in Him!
A closing prayer
Dear Lord, I pray that you help me to recognize your goodness in every aspect of my life, amen!
If you have yet to receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior then read the following below!
Romans 3:23 states that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God", and Isaiah 53:6 says "all of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all." Meaning that we are sinners who are in need of a savior, grace, mercy, and guidance. Without it, we will suffer not only on earth but for eternity as well. So I implore you to accept Christ as your personal savior so that He can live in you and give you abundant life!
A prayer for salvation
Lord I want to honor you with every part of my life, I accept you as my personal savior today. I pray that your light shines through me and that you use me every day as you desire. Please lead me in this life, and show me the way. I want to dwell with you forever, amen!
If you accepted Jesus as your Savior let us know! Welcome to the family : )