This past Tuesday at Bridges, we had a night of prayer and worship. With our theme of 2021 being “Worship Way of Life”, we wanted to start the year with praise and pouring out in prayer. It was such an amazing time in the presence of God. We proclaimed the truth of who God is and what He has done, and we spent much time in prayer.
As we went away from the church that night and into the next day, there was something that was very profound to me. I could not stop thinking about this line out of a song that we sang together.
“You take what the enemy meant for evil, and you turn it for good.”
What a profound statement! That God can take what seems to be all for evil and make something beautiful come out of it.
That is not a statement that somebody just made up. It is not a fancy slogan a Christian thought of while he was writing a song. No, this statement is from the Bible. It is a theme that is woven throughout Scripture. There are numerous Bible stories that can be used to portray this (Jesus and the cross, Paul being shipwrecked, Paul and Silas in prison, etc.), but the story that my mind goes when I think of this is the Story of Joseph and his brothers in the book of Genesis.
In this story, bad things keep happening to Joseph. He receives a gift from their father that is superior to the ones that his brothers received. After this, jealousy and hatred begin to grow in their hearts, and they devise a plot to kill Joseph. Long story short, they try to act on their plan, Joseph is sold into slavery, and he ends up in Egypt. While he is there, he begins to have the gift of interpreting dreams. Through this, he finds favor with the king. The king takes him from his low place and puts him in a high place over Egypt, who is preparing for a famine that Joseph told would come while he was interpreting dreams. During the famine, his brothers come to Egypt because they need food. You can imagine their surprise when they run into Joseph who is now in a position of power. They begin to ask for forgiveness and beg him for food. Joseph tells them that he will take care of them, but he gives them this powerful statement.
“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
Now, most of us are not in the same boat as Joseph. On the other hand, we can relate to this story in many ways. Maybe some of us feel as though 2020 brought hardship after hardship and we are still struggling to see where God is working or where God is going to bring good. Maybe some of us are in an uphill battle in our lives and there seems to be no good.
I don’t know what the year 2021 is going to bring, but I do know that God promises us that whatever the struggle, He is working behind the scenes. He is working all things out for His glory and our good. So, whatever this year brings, let’s all strive to live a life that is centered around Worship and remembers that even in the bad, God is working for good!