Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 19, 2021
Sometimes life seems to be taking us down a huge detour and everything looks like it's not going our way. In those situations, our life and our story seems to be a disaster.
This is exactly what happened to Joseph, whose story is found in Genesis 37-50. Joseph's brothers jealously hated him and sold him into slavery. Joseph was wrongfully put in prison for raping Potifer's wife, when really he refused to compromise his integrity by sleeping with her. Then, Joseph helped get the chief cupbearer out of jail; however, when the cupbearer had an opportunity to return the favor and get Joseph out of jail, the man forgot about Joseph. Joseph ended up spending thirteen years in jail for something he didn't do.
At this point Joseph's story was going haywire, but God's story was right on track. That's because God had an amazing plan for Joseph's life; God was going to use Joseph to save Egypt and the surrounding lands for seven years of devastating famine. What looked to Joseph like a huge detour was really a great plan of God to provide food for countless people, including the very brothers that had sold Joseph into slavery.
At the end of this, Joseph realized that God had a bigger plan for his life, and after his brothers come to him for food, he tells them: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).
All along, God's story was right on track.
This same principle is also true in the life of Jesus. To the disciples, it looked as those Jesus would be a great king who would rule Israel and return the nation to greatness. They hailed him as a great leader. So, when Jesus was being crucified, the story they saw looked like a major train wreck—this great leader whom they had followed for the past three years was suddenly dead. However, God's story was at its peak—God was in the process of connecting humanity to himself.
There's what you see and what God sees.
When your life seems to be a major disaster; know that God has bigger plans to use your life for great things. The story you see may not reflect the long-term story God has planned. Therefore, trust God, knowing that he works for good in all circumstances (Romans 8:28).
In Leviticus 19:17, God warns us against hating others: "Do not hate your brother in your heart." Interestingly, that verse shows us that hate isn't just an action; it is also an attitude of the heart. Many times we hate someone in our heart, yet pretend to like them. However, hating someone in your heart is nonetheless hate -- and thus despised by God.
Although it sounds harsh, 1 John 3:15 says that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer. Indeed, as far as your heart is concerned, to hate is to murder. In other words, hating someone is no different than murdering them in your hearts.
If you hate someone, you'll be thinking negatively about them, slandering them (if not verbally, at least in your heart), and cutting them down with your thoughts and words. Thus, it is no surprise that God sternly warns us not to hate others, because life is too short to spend it hating.
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