Did you hear about the young man hated by his brothers so much they wanted to kill him, but instead they sold him into slavery? Or did you hear of the two guys who were beaten and imprisoned for sharing their faith? Or how about the woman living in pain by mysterious causes? Wow – those situations sound like all is lost don’t they? No good could possibly come from any of those circumstances…could it? Read on to hear the Glory in the Story.
This blog is one in a journey of a Getting to Know God series. The names and attributes of God are adapted from a guide on the Navigators website called 30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God. Today’s blog corresponds with the 25th Day, God is El-Shaddai.
Today our Navigators’ Guide says this: “God is El-Shaddai. This name means “God Almighty”, the God who is all-sufficient and all-bountiful, the source of all blessings.”
Our verses for today are:
Genesis 49:22-26 (TLB)
Joseph is a fruitful tree beside a fountain. His branches shade the wall. He has been severely injured by those who shot at him and persecuted him, but their weapons were shattered by the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. May the God of your fathers, the Almighty, bless you with blessings of heaven above and of the earth beneath—blessings of the breasts and of the womb, blessings of the grain and flowers, blessings reaching to the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills. These shall be the blessings upon the head of Joseph who was exiled from his brothers.
These verses are a blessing from Jacob (Israel) to his son Joseph shortly before Jacob’s death. They are an awesome reference to the Almighty God because they show how His mightiness overcame evil plans and how God can turn around ANY circumstance to bring good and therefore bring glory to His name.
If you don’t recall the story of Joseph off the top of your head, please allow me to give you a super abridged version here as it fully applies to our focus today. Joseph was the youngest of Jacob’s sons. He was favored by his father, so much so that his brothers were jealous and ganged up on him with plans to kill him. One of the brothers, Judah, stepped in and stopped the killing part of the plan substituting it with the “gracious” idea of selling Joseph as a slave to travelers. They told their father Joseph had been killed by a wild animal and hoped they would never see him again. As it turns out, during that time God used Joseph in amazing ways in Egypt and eventually he was promoted to be Pharaoh’s right hand man. Through Joseph, God then saved many people during a terrible famine in the country. Those saved included Joseph’s brothers and his whole family.
There are a lot more details in that story but it is to be noted that God took the plans for evil that his brothers had for Joseph and turned them into amazing good for a whole nation of people. That is an amazing story of God’s Almighty Power and an amazing story of Joseph’s trust in God no matter how his circumstances appeared.
Another good example of that trust was a message I once taught the young minds attending Vacation Bible School. Our question to them was “If I choose to follow Jesus, will things get better for me?” The story of the day was that of Paul and Silas being beaten and imprisoned when they KNEW they were doing what God was asking of them (per a vision Paul was given). Instead of wallowing in pity that they were suffering while they were serving, they were singing praises to God and praying. Along came an earthquake which released their chains and opened their cell doors. They stayed right where they were and that spoke so deeply to the jailer that he took them to his home and as a result the jailer’s whole family came to God that day. Our bottom line was this: “It’s not about you, it’s about what God is doing THROUGH you.” To me that says that God is Almighty and He can bring good out of the very worst of situations. It doesn’t make the situation good, it merely opens our minds, hearts and spirits to an opportunity to Trust in God even when we can’t see how He could possibly bring good out of our lives.
I have seen this power in my life and I, too, am seeing God use bad things that have happened to me for my ultimate good and His Glory. God wastes nothing, His power runs so deep that we can never fathom it. I am currently walking through a health issue and am doctoring and in pain, but even in this I will give thanks. That perhaps makes me sound incredulous, but it is a serious statement. The pain makes me reliant on God for every moment, every breath. I have spent more time in dedicated prayer and prayed throughout most of my recent days because I couldn’t function without God. Don’t mistake me saying “I will give thanks” in my current circumstance to mean it is a pleasant experience, it is definitely not. However, I know my Almighty God has me in His capable hands and I trust Him for the outcome, knowing that it will be for my ultimate good and His glory. Even if the only outcome I can readily see is an increase in perseverance of my faith, that is a blessing and I will count it as such.
When we are in the darkest of nights, God is right next to us and will never forsake us. Often, the storm gets to its darkest point before we see the Glory of God’s light, but we must Trust that The Almighty God is always at work and therefore we can give thanks along the way.
The stories above are just a few from the Bible and a personal story. But, there are many more stories in the Bible and I am sure you know people’s personal stories with this message as well. These are great messages from an Almighty God that has a plan for your life even if you can’t possibly see how good can come from your current situation and suffering. Because God is Faithful and He is Who He says He is, we can walk in confidence of that FACT, period. When you question that fact, lift your question up to God then trust that He will bring good from this storm in your life because He absolutely will.
Blessings and love,