Your Problems Have Purpose - Encouragement for Today - December 13, 2016

Joni Eareckson Tada

December 13, 2016
Your Problems Have Purpose

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.“ Genesis 50:20 (NLT)

You may not be a quadriplegic like I am, but I bet you resonate with the word helpless. When suffering hits you or your family broadside, we can quickly ask: Where is God? Why is He letting this happen?

It’s why I draw inspiration from the biblical story of Joseph.

Although he was never paralyzed, several things happened to him that could be construed as accidents. He was tossed into a pit by his envious brothers and almost left to die, and eventually, he was wrongly put in prison in a foreign land.

Joseph could have become bitter. But many years later, he told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people” (Genesis 50:20).

I like that word, “intended.” God is full of intention — He has a purpose, a target, a goal and a plan. God was a giant step ahead of Joseph’s brothers, aborting their evil intentions to suit His own purposes. Joseph’s problems did not catch God off guard. From the beginning, God planned for Joseph to experience those things. Why? Not only for his own growth in godly character, but for saving others’ lives.

God is not a sweep-up boy who follows after you with a dustpan and brush, second-guessing how everything will fit into a divine pattern for good. He does not put on a hazmat suit so an evil situation doesn’t contaminate His holy reputation.

Think of the disappointing or bad things that have happened to you.

Be comforted by this: God did not take His hands off the wheel of your life for a nanosecond. From start to finish, everything followed God’s plan for you.

This means your trials have much more meaning than you realize. Your problems have more purpose than you can imagine. Not because God merely uses bad things, but because God intends them so others might be introduced to Jesus through your example. What a high calling that is!

Dear Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful You are involved in every step of my life. How comforting to know that in good times or bad, You remain in control and have a plan for me. I thank You that You are good no matter what happens, and that I can rest in Your presence. I am thankful for the faithfulness of Joseph that no matter what happened, he turned to You and never doubted You. I pray to have that kind of faith and live a life of surrender to Your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (NLT)

>Jeremiah 29:11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the LORD. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (NLT)

The Beyond Suffering Bible was born out of the passion of Joni Eareckson Tada and her team at Joni and Friends to dig deeper into what God has to say about suffering in His Word and to discover how good God is, no matter what we are facing.

The Joni and Friends International Disability Center is globally renowned as one of the leading experts on ministering to people who are suffering. They are dedicated to accelerating ministry among people who are affected by disability, meeting physical, emotional and spiritual needs in a practical way, while extending the love and message of Christ.

Enter to WIN a copy of Beyond Suffering Bible NLT: Where Struggles Seem Endless, God’s Hope is Infinite by Joni Eareckson Tada. In celebration of this book, Joni's publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, December 19.}

How have you seen God use a difficult moment in your life to challenge you for the better?

Think of a difficult situation you have faced and find a way to use it to reach out and connect with someone who is hurting.

© 2016 by Joni Eareckson Tada. All rights reserved.

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Christianity / Devotionals / Encouragement for Today / Your Problems Have Purpose - Encouragement for Today - December 13, 2016