Everything Happens For A Reason

Greetings In the Name of the Lord:

Genesis 45:5-8 (NLT)
But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. 6 This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. 8 So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

I am sure that you have heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” If you are like me, someone usually says that to you when you least want to hear it. However, there is great wisdom in these words because everything does happen for a reason. The Bible gives us a great example of this in the narrative of the life of Joseph. His brothers, who were jealous of him, sold him into slavery in Egypt, and while there he spends time in prison. Now if this had happened to us we probably would be angry with both our brothers and God. However, we must always remember that everything happens for a reason. “Although Joseph’s brothers had wanted to get rid of him, God used even their evil actions to fulfill his ultimate plan. He had sent Joseph ahead to preserve their lives, save Egypt, and prepare the way for the beginning of the nation of Israel. God is sovereign. His plans are not dictated by human actions. When others intend evil toward you, remember that they are only God’s tools. As Joseph said to 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”’ (Life Application Study Bible). Now chances are you and I are not going to have the great revelation that Joseph had in his life. In fact, we may never know or understand why certain things happen to us. Yet we can be assured that God intends to use even bad situations to do good things in our lives. One of the great promises in Scripture comes from the Book of Jeremiah, where it says, ‘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”‘ (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT). We can trust in this great promise and know that God can take even bad things and create something good in our lives.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Integrity Is the Issue

Greetings In the Name of the Lord:

Genesis 39:6-9 (NLT)
…Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, 7 and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. 8 But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 9 No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”

In an election year like we are in, we will hear a lot about integrity (even though we might not see much of it in action). John Maxwell wrote, “I commit myself to being a person of character. Truth, reliability, honesty and confidentiality will be the pillars of my life. I will treat others as I expect to be treated and I will live according to the highest standards of integrity amid all of life’s circumstances.” A number of years ago, Mike Huckabe wrote a book entitled, Integrity Is the Issue! Unfortunately, we read more about integrity these days than what we see lived out in daily life. A good example of integrity lived out in Scripture is that of Joseph. In this text we see that Joseph had everything to lose. He was in charge of Potiphar’s house, who was second in command in Egypt, and the only thing he had to worry about was steak or chicken for dinner. Then Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce Joseph to sleep with her. What has he got to lose? The boss is away on business and the wife isn’t going to tell him. So I ask again, what has he got to lose? Answer: everything! He would lose how others viewed him. He would lose how he viewed himself. However, the most important thing is that it would change how God viewed him. How would he look himself in the mirror and feel good about what he saw? You see if you lose your integrity you lose everything. Nobody else may know, but you will know and so will God. Live a life of integrity and you will be able to live with yourself.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark