Tuesday

Victim or Victor?

We can be victorious, Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20
Joseph endured years of separation, hardship, and injustice because of his brothers. He could have become a victim. Instead, he chose to become a victor. 

How did he do this? Here’s the key:
When Joseph’s brothers feared Joseph would take revenge on them, Joseph answered their concerns by saying:


“You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, in order to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened.” Genesis 50:20 (GNT)

This is the Old Testament equivalent to Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

Joseph was a victor because he:
  • Trusted God with the big picture even when the small picture looked bad
  • Realized that the sins of others couldn’t ruin God’s plans for him
Praise God! We can do the same! 
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011
Photo: stockvault

Linked to Arabah Joy

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3 comments:

  1. First I want to say that I really enjoy getting your posts everyday. I am wondering about the second statement in the victim or victor post. "Realized that the sins of others couldn’t ruin God’s plans for him". I am wondering if you could speak to a situation in a marriage where the wife is being abused, not physically. Most certainly, because the wife is connected to her husband the actions of another are effecting God's plans for her. Thank you. Judi

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    Replies
    1. Wow, Judi, good question.
      Thanks for asking a question that others may also have.

      From the story of Joseph, I would say that the sins of others cannot thwart God's plans for us. Joseph's brothers sinfully sold him into slavery, Potiphar's wife sinfully lied about him and had him thrown in to prison, the wine butler forgot about his promise to Joseph, and Joseph was forced to live much of his life in a pagan culture apart from godly fellowship.Yet God made it clear to Joseph that He had used all of these sins for good.

      But I want to make this point too: the sins of others cause us suffering. Joseph certainly suffered because of the injustice done to him.

      Genesis 50:20 is the Old Testament counterpart of Romans 8:28. It shows no approval for the actions of Joseph's brothers. In fact, it says they meant to do evil. But it says that God used that evil for Joseph's good and the good of God's people.

      Obviously, there are variables involved. Joseph told people of his plight and sought to get help (Genesis 40:14-15). He admitted that his brothers had done evil, but he refused to become bitter (Gen. 50:20). Joseph believed God would use him (Pslam 105:16-22). Notice that Joseph told Pharaoh that whenever God gives a dream twice, it is going to happen - and God had given Joseph two dreams. Joseph still believed his dreams despite his circumstances because he trusted God to do the impossible (not in his brothers, but in him). Genesis 41:32.

      So I think we can safely say that if a wife seeks God and does her best, a sinful husband will not thwart God's plans for her even if she goes through some detours and injustices. But she should seek help and counsel from other Christians and honestly access her situation without becoming bitter. I believe this is a hard situation for a wife, but not harder than Joseph's situation.

      And I believe that no one can do this on their own. They need the strength and power of Christ in their life to live through it and be victorious.

      What do you think? Any other thoughts, especially any Scripture passages that might pertain? I'd love having other readers chime in to.

      Thanks for asking a relevant question,
      Gail

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  2. The example of Joseph is such a faith builder. I never put it together with Romans 8:28 before. It's true. They're equivalents.
    Thank you for linking with Grace and Truth last week!

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