Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 ESV “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”
How often does something bad happen to us and we blame it on the Devil or think that God is punishing us? A guy asked me, ‘Why every time I try to do something something always happens that prevents me from doing it?’ He then said, “Maybe I’m cursed.” I asked him, “Do you believe in God?” He said, “Yes.” Then I said, “Let’s get the answer from the Bible. Blessed are you if you believe what God says at Ecclesiastes 7:13-14.”
After I read him the passage above I explained that, “God knows what’s best for us. And He sometimes prevents us from doing what will hurt us. We just can’t see how it would harm us like He can. So he’ll make something that’s quote unquote BAD happen that’s really for our ultimate good. That’s written in the Bible.” A guy who was listening to our conversation said, “Yeah, that’s true. I was just reading about that last night in the Bible in the story about Joseph. I was reading the part where he told his brothers, ‘What you did to harm me God did it so that it can work out for my good and the good of many people so that their lives can be saved.’ “ The guy continued, “Yeah Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, from there he found himself in prison, and from there God strategically set him up to become the 2nd most powerful ruler in Egypt next to Pharaoh. I was just reading about that last night.” How cool.😄
After Joseph was placed in his God ordained position (ruler over Egypt 2nd only to Pharaoh), God used him to oversee the distribution of food during a 7 year famine. This important work saved MANY people’s lives, including Joseph’s own people the Israelites.
I had another conversation with the brother who read the story about Joseph the next day. This time someone else overheard us talking and was listening intensely. We shared the same information as yesterday about Joseph, and talked about Moses too this time; how Moses went from Prince of Egypt, to homeless fugitive, to sheep herder (a very lowly job). Then how God took Moses from there and made him leader of his people. God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. I then asked the guy, “But what if Joseph had said to himself, ‘Nothing ever good happens to me. Nothing ever goes right. It didn’t go right in the past and it won’t in the future.’ What if he had just given up and lost hope? He never would have became the person God wanted him to be, would he? And what if Moses would have given up after 40 years of being a sheep herder? He too would have never became who God made him to be, would he?” The man listened favorably then humbly said, “Thank you.” I assured him that God’s got him. All he wants from us is an attitude of submission to Him no matter what we’re going through.
The future can be different. Many examples in the Bible like Joseph’s and Moses’ prove it. After encouraging the young man I immediately felt the Holy Spirit urging me to apply everything I had just mentioned to him. I too have had many setbacks in this life. The past is the past. We must look with hope towards the future. No matter how many times we get knocked down we must get back up. Knowing that we can’t control everything, that it’s all up to God should give us humility. For who can defy the will of God? Who can make straight what He has made crooked? This should produce in us patience, and contentment in all circumstances. And likewise no one can shut a door when Jesus the son of the living God decides to open it:
Revelation 3:7-8 KJV “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;  I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”
Isaiah 22:22 KJV “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
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