CALL TO OBEDIENCE #284 Reprint
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"God Meant It For Good"
By Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive (Genesis 50:20).
George Watson said, “If you fear God, you need fear nothing else; but if you don’t fear God, then you’ll be subject to a thousand fears.” We need God to help us, lead us, and build faith in us. Because He wants to build faith in us, He keeps working with us. If we hang on, He will keep trying.
Let us take a look at the story of the young man, Joseph, and his journey from a pit to a throne. I want to change that: that is not Joseph’s story, that is your story. This is your journey. Joseph had reached the palace, and this verse says that when he came to his brothers who had placed him into a pit, he said, “...as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good...”
God wants to bring every one of His followersincluding youto a place where we believe and say of every evil that has been done against us, “God did it for my good.” Everything that happens to you that you think is evil, God wants you to see it as good. Isn’t that a wonderful place to be? That is the journey He is trying to get us to make so that we can say as Joseph did, “...ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good...”
I want you to know that Joseph did not start out that way. He came to this place of faith through his brothers’ evil intentions. He did not arrive there by going to an altar of prayer. We need an altar of prayer and we need to start there and pray about things. But it took wicked events in Joseph’s life to help him see the good in the evil circumstances.
At seventeen years of age, this young man, Joseph, was a spoiled brat. Jacob made an expensive coat of many colors for him, and the other sons knew that their father loved him above everybody else. Then this young man had a dream that his brothers would some day bow before him. Think of it: Joseph, this spoiled kid, went around and told them, “Some day you are going to bow before me.” Now that did not help the situation any, did it?
One day, Joseph was sent by his father to meet his brothers who were tending sheep out in the fields. They said to one another as he was some distance away, “Here comes that dreamer. We’ll just fix him and see what happens to his dreams.”
This young man was called by God. Can you imagine God calling this spoiled youth? You say, “How in the world can God call or use a person like that?” It is no wonder his brothers wanted to kill him! ButI want you to get thisGod uses circumstances to train us. The circumstances that we squirm under, the circumstances that we do not likeGod means for our good!
A little book entitled Destined for a Throne, by Paul Billheimer states that each of us are “destined for a throne.” Did you know that every one of us is destined for a throne? You may not make it. If you do not make it, you will not sit on it, but it is there for you if you go after it. If you can get to that place where you can count everything as good that you think is evil, God will set you on a throne! Oh, what a God we serve!
So, how did this young man make the transition? How did God change him? As I said, not from an altar of prayer, but by putting him in circumstances that looked like evil. When he went out to see his brothers and they saw this dreamer coming, they put him in a pit! It was dry: there was no water and no food. And his brothers later on said, “We heard his cry of anguish.” Joseph was not down there saying, “Oh, God, this is working for good.” He did not realize that it was for his good, but he did not know it! His brothers left him there to die. But as God brought him out of that pit, He also brought something out of Joseph. And while you are coming out of the pit that you are in, God will bring something out of you!
What a wonderful God we serve! Isn’t He wonderful? This is the God we serve! This is where He is trying to get usto a place where we can sit on a throne.
God put Joseph in a pit. Was that for his good? Yes indeed, that was for his good! He was sold into slavery. Was that for his good? Yes, being sold as a slave was for his good! That circumstance that you are in that is so bad is for your good! I am not just preaching, I am telling you the Word of God. I like this book! This book has stood the test for thousands of years, and I am reading from it!
Joseph, once in
When Joseph was in the pit, I believe that he may have been praying something like this, “Oh, God, get me out of here!” And God did not answer his prayer! God may not answer your prayer to be delivered out of your trial. He may just pull you out of one trial and place you into another. Why? For your own good! So why was Joseph put into the pit? Did God mean it for good? God meant it for good.
Look at Moses! God used a young man, called by God, who knew God had called him. As he went out to see his brothers one day, he saw an Egyptian hitting one of the Israelites, and he killed the Egyptian. You talk about zeal! I want you to know something: zeal is a wonderful thing, but God will not bless ungodly zeal. So we should make sure that our zeal is guided by God or He will not bless it. And God let him be run off! This man was called by God like Joseph, and God let him be run off. Was that for his good? By the time I get done, I hope you are going to realize that what is happening to you is for your good. You think it is meant for evil, but God means it for good.
So Moses got run off for 40 years! God meant it for good. This young man Moses, in the king’s palace, who was strong and mighty in word and in deed, got run off. This man who would roll up his sleeves and fight for God became the meekest man in the world. God took that fight out of himthat wrong fight. There is a fight that needs to be in us, but not the kind Moses had. God took it out of him during those forty years on the back side of the desert where he learned to submit to God. At the burning bush, it was God who was in charge. Moses had to submit. Moses submitted to God, and the Bible says that we are to submit to one another (Eph. 5:21).
Is it hard to submit? I remember seeing on a church sign one time that the hardest thing to do
is to ‘give in’. God had to bring this hot-tempered, self-sufficient man down to being the meekest man
on the face of the earth. And God can do it with us so that we learn that: ...all things work together for good to them that love God... (Rom. 8:28). So, what is the good? The good is to be conformed to the image of His Son, that is the good!
So, before Joseph could sit on a throne, there were some things he had to learn. First of all, Joseph had to learn to love. He did not know how to love his brothers: he was proud of himself, he was arrogant, but now he had learned to love his brothers and he wept over them instead of bragging to them.
Another thing, before he could sit on a throne, Joseph had to learn to forgive. And before you can sit on the throne that God has destined you to be on, you are also going to have to learn to forgive. You will never make it to the throne without that.
Joseph had to learn to forgive so that when he saw his brothers, there was absolutely no animosity in his heart against themhe had completely forgiven them. And not only that, he had forgotten about it so much that it did not bother him any more. Some people will forgive, but they cannot quit talking about it! If you truly forgive, you will not talk about it any more. Why? Because you have gotten to a place where it does not bother you any more. And if it does not bother you any more, you will not talk about it any more.
Joseph said to his brothers, “Do not think evil against yourselves; do not be hard on yourselves. You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. God brought me here, you didn’t!” Isn’t that something? I am telling you: this is your story. I trust you can get a hold of it. God is saying, “Do not think evil about it.”
Joseph had to learn to be merciful. He had to learn this or he never would have gone to the throne; and you will never make it to your throne if you are not merciful. I heard a man pray one time when I was holding a revival meeting and I will never forget his prayer: “Oh God, help me to be as merciful towards others as I want You to be towards me.” Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Merciful!
Joseph had to learn to get over his self-pity. He could not have self-pity in his heart for self-pity is trying to prove others wrong.
So Joseph was a man who had made a journey, a journey that you and I are going to make someday. I marvel that God wants us sitting on a throne! He created this world and sent His Son into this world. Why? To find a Bride to sit on the throne with Him! That is what you were created for, and He has you on a journey to get you there. But He wants you to get to this place where you can see that everything that is happening to you is under God’s control. He is Sovereign. He could have gotten Joseph out of that pit! He could have put Joseph on the throne of
but Joseph would not have been fit to rule. And we are not fit to rule either! In fact, one time years ago when I pastored, a lady told her
husband, “All the good you see in me is Jesus. And all the bad you see in me is me!” Think of it: whatever good comes out of you is Jesus, but whatever bad comes out of you, that is you! God has us on a wonderful journey and if we are faithful, some day, we will sit with Christ on His throne for Jesus said, To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Rev. 3:21).
Taken from a message by Rev. Robert Morgan (abridged and revised)