Dwight Fletcher | Our difference makes us special to God - Part II
Jamaicans have a saying that 'Every hoe have dem stick ah bush', meaning that there is a romantic partner for everyone, no matter how odd they may seem or behave. So days like Valentine's Day usually see all kinds of different-looking couples turning out: very tall men with petite women, 'fluffy' women with skinny men - the whole gamut: the good, the bad, and the beautiful.
This is because God in His grace put beauty in the eye of the beholder. He just loves variety and every different thing that He creates serves a different purpose.
Similarly, your life may look different from that of those around you, but its direction is preparing you for God's purpose to be accomplished. Last week, we began looking at the life of Joseph in Genesis 37 to illustrate this truth.
Joseph's life taught us that our difference makes us special to God. Because He made us unique, wonderfully complex and shaped for a purpose, God also has a different plan for us than He has for anyone else. Our path will, therefore, have different challenges.
Joseph was forsaken by his family, forgotten by his friends and frustrated by his failures. All these things happened to Joseph as part of God's plan for his life. In Genesis 50:20 (NIV), Joseph says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Joseph needed preparation and polishing and so do you.
If you love and belong to Him, know that God is always doing something good in your life. Romans 8:28 NIV says, "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." God is always:
1. Guiding You - "The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him." (Psalm 37:23 NIV). He will lead you in the direction He wants you to go.
2. Gauging You - "... He sent a man before them - Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true." (Psalm 105:17-19 NIV). God is constantly measuring our growth. He is far more concerned about how we react to what we face than what we face.
3. Growing you - God wants us to grow out of the mess we are in. He is in the saint building business.
Whatever you may face in this world, God allows these things to strengthen and to help you become more like Him. How are you responding to problems that come your way?
If you respond properly, you will see that God is always with you. God was with Joseph in:
1. Servitude - "The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master" (Genesis 39:2 NIV). Even though he was a slave, Joseph conducted himself like the ruler God was preparing him to be. Instead of griping and complaining, if you ever expect to lead, then you must first learn to serve!
2. Seduction - When Potiphar's wife tried everything to seduce Joseph, Joseph lost his coat, but he kept his conscience. God was teaching Joseph a lesson in integrity and in self-control. Are you paying the price for a clean conscience?
3. Suffering - Even when Joseph was forced to endure the shame of false imprisonment, God was with him and blessed him. "The Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there." )Genesis 39:21-22.)
God turned tragedy, temptation, torment and trouble into a great triumph! God was teaching Joseph and us this lesson - we may be different and our challenges may be different, but if we hold on to Him, God will bring to pass every dream that He has given us.