In our Christian walk, it is often challenging to believe that God still cares or that the challenges, trials and temptations we face are somehow supposed to “work together for our good”. However, I like how Travis Green put it in His song Intentional; “all things are working for my good, He’s intentional. This is a very simple, yet profound statement which I find myself singing and confessing each day. Yes, whether we choose to accept it or not, God is intentional.
As difficult as it is for our minds to grasp, we need to understand that God is not a man, and that He doesn’t relate with us from the position of man. We also need to come to a place of not reducing Him to the place of functioning like man. When things are going very well in our lives, it is easy for us to say He is God and He is intentional. Yet, we don’t have the same disposition when things are difficult and our emotions, faith and spirit are being stretched. If we are able to remind ourselves that He is intentional and that He God is truly working ALL things together for our Good [Romans 8:28], perchance it would give us the resolve to fight the good fight of faith.
Joseph was given a dream and promise by God on two occasions about being the leader of His family. However shortly afterwards, Joseph found Himself thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, accused of rape and thrown into prison. Where was God now? How was being rejected and sold by the same family He was supposed to rule, working out for His good? How was being sold into slavery in a foreign land far from the family He was supposed to rule, going to fulfil the dream and promise God gave Him? Not only that He was in prison and the only chance of ruling would be over other prisoners. But God!
In every situation encourage yourself with “But God“. There is a BUT GOD in every situation. The Bible says we were dead in our sin, BUT GOD rich in mercy [Ephesians 2:4] saved us. If when we were dead in our sins and didn’t have the sensibility to know and admit we needed a Savior, God rich in mercy sent Jesus for us, how much more now that we are His sons [and daughters]? God sees everything and “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” [Hebrews 4:13, AMP]. Not only does He see all things, He knows all things. He is not bound by time and knows your yesterday, today, as well as your tomorrow. God is intentional about your tomorrow and it is for this reason that He says know that “All things work together for the good of those who love God” [Romans 8:28].
There is a place God wants to take you to and there are people He wants you to influence and impact for the Gospel. There are testimonies He desires for you to share that would strengthen the faith of others and He also wants to see your faith strengthened in the gym of trials, tribulations and tests. He wants to see your character developed to handle responsibilities, without bringing the Kingdom of God into disrepute. That is the only way you can grow and mature in your walk with God. That is the only way you can truly learn to trust God and walk by faith and not by sight. Remember without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God [Hebrews 11:6].
So while Joseph was sold, accused of rape and imprisoned, God was testing Him. The Bible makes us aware that “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant. His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron, Until his word [to his cruel brothers] came true, until the word of the Lord tried and tested him.” [Psalms 105:17]. Understand that when God is dealing with an individual, it is about the generations coming after Him. God has made a promise to Joseph’s Father, Jacob, His Grandfather, Isaac and His Great Grandfather, Abraham about giving them the promised land. God had also told Jacob that His descendants would be enslaved for 400 years in a foreign land. The Lord knew that a famine was going to come upon the land and without a Joseph being in Egypt, there was a huge possibility of Jacob and His family being wiped out in Canaan, because they would not have gotten to be in Goshen to survive the famine and grow. There was a plan in it all and that is why Joseph told His brothers “God sent me ahead of you”.
God is looking at the bigger canvas; He sees it all while we only see a limited snapshot of things that happen, because we are bound my time, knowledge and insight. We see mostly from the physical perspective but God sees into the Spiritual. That is why He said in “ALL things give thanks to God, for this is the will of God for your life” [2 Thessalonians 5:18]. Why? Because “all things are working for my good, He’s intentional”.