Heads or Tails?

The Super Bowl this Sunday will begin with the flip of a coin. Just one coin-with two sides: heads or tails. There are only two choices.

Flipping a coin, even in the Super Bowl, is not that big a deal. But there are other things in life with just two choices that are a really big deal. Today, in the life of Joseph, I see one of those really “big deals.” His dad has died, and now there is nothing to stop him from seeking revenge on his brothers. He has two distinct choices- he can pour out complete vengeance on them with all the powers he has available to him being the second in power in Egypt, or he can choose not to. His brothers know this and he knows it. His brothers, knowing this, are in dire fear of Joseph’s choice. Apparently, they still don’t know Joseph well at all.

Joseph does not live like his brothers. He doesn’t act or think like them. This is why they miscalculate him. They expect him to do what they would do. Instead, Joseph views life and his responses to what life hands him completely different. His brothers did do egregious evil to him. This is a fact. Joseph does not deny that it was evil. What he does, though, is sees a purpose in it. He sees that he is NOT God, and not in God’s place. He also sees what God was able to do with their evil act. He sees good that God brought about through and despite the evils done to him. This allows Joseph to completely dismiss the idea of seeking revenge on his brothers.

The difference between Joseph and his brothers? How he thought. Joseph interpreted and lived life differently. Good and evil came into his life just as it does ours, and in his case, in much more life-altering ways than we may ever experience. He watched how God meant it for good and was even able to rejoice in that. By doing so, he demonstrated incredible mercy and forgiveness to his brothers. He saved the lives of 11
men, who became the nation of Israel. He experienced joy instead of bitterness from anger. He healed family relationships that had been severed for decades. He provided for his family who might have otherwise died in a famine. The list could go on. The point is, by living out the truth we read in Romans, that God can “work all things together for good to those who love God”, Joseph’s life and the lives of all those around him were richer than they ever could have been otherwise.

Think of that last “evil” thing done to you. Can you see any way God was able to use it for good? If not, pray about it and ask God to show you. Pray for eyes to trust and see how He is working it for your good. Look and see how others around you are blessed by your decisions in difficult circumstances or when things go wrong. This is how we learn to actually stand on the promises of God (not just memorize them) and how our trust in God’s faithfulness will be strengthened. Seeing the good that God can bring about despite evils done to us will also surely be a blessing to all of those around us, bringing life where there might otherwise be death.


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