This morning, we finished our summer-long series on the life of Joseph– It’s All Good: God & Your Troubles. We’ve been exploring what C. S. Lewis called “the problem of pain”, the tension between the constant troubles, pain or suffering we encounter and belief in an all-knowing, all-loving and all-powerful God.
Obviously, we’ve covered a lot of ground, and this morning I wanted to boil down everything to one simple statement. A simple, Word-rooted, gospel-drenched sentence that we can hold onto when life kicks us in the gut. We covered a lot of Scripture, but basically drew from one place in the Old Testament and one in the new.
Joseph’s last recorded words are a summation of his confidence in God’s sovereign work in all the circumstances of his life. Looking squarely at the brothers who had jealously sold him into slavery, Joseph said, ” You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, to bring about the saving of many lives.” (Gen. 50:20)
The New Testament counterpart is found in Romans 8:28: “We know that God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) Now you really have to read Rom. 8:18-39 to get the whole flavor of that one statement.
Tucked into those two phrases is a world of truth about God –His ways, His purposes, His gospel and His heart, and us — simple, ordinary, frail people who live hurt for a lot of our journey. How do we keep going with Him when all we want to do is scream “Why?” , run away and hide? Faith means we run towards our Father who reigns, who intentionally orders all of life, and who loves us ferociously.
So, what is the sentence? here it is. Put it on a card or a sticker and remind yourself of this hope:
My sovereign Lord
orders all my circumstances
to display His glory
and do me good,
with never-failing love.
It’s true and dependable. I know, because today marks a year since our family entered one of the most painful years of our lives. Now, we’re on the other side—and bit by bit, by His grace, we’re seeing it’s all good.
If you want to hear the whole message ( and get the Scripture basis behind each phase), go here.