God Controls All Outcomes
God not only controls all outcomes, but he controls many things that occur in this life in order to bring about His will and His purposes. When that happens at each stage, Satan is defeated, though it often appears to us that Satan wins. This is never the case and we can see examples of this throughout Scripture, but let me just offer some examples from the life of Joseph.
We have been talking a good deal about a group known variously as the Power Elite (PE), the Global Elite, or the dark cabal that controls much of what happens on this planet, under the direction of Satan himself. I have no doubt that this group exists and has been placed in charge of bringing Satan’s objectives to fruition. I would also like to emphasize that all of Satan’s objectives are carefully watched by God Himself. Satan succeeds in pushing his will forward only as God allows.
God Uses All Situations for His Glory
Rather than only appear to be talking about the Power Elite and risk becoming one-sided in our emphasis, it is equally important to understand how God uses situations often created by Satan in order to bring His will and purposes to the fore. The difficult part of course is that as Christians, we have limited vision. We can see what’s happening now as it unfolds and certainly, we are aware of the things that have happened in the past. However, aside from the fact that God has Himself revealed many things to us about the future, there are many things He has not given us information about.
For instance, nowhere in His Word does He outline who the various presidents of the United States were to be. While God is obviously concerned with that, He simply chose to provide us with information regarding certain periods in history and the end of the age and what that will look like. We know that eventually one man will rise up to become the final dictator. There are many portions of Scripture which speak to this truth.
Yet, even though we know this will happen, we do not know who this “man of sin” or Antichrist will actually be by his name. He will be revealed to the world when the time is right for that to happen.
The same is true of the Gog/Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39. We do not know who Gog will turn out to be, but we do know that the term Gog is used like the term Captain or General. It is a designation, not a specific name. We will know who Gog is when the Gog/Magog War occurs.
God has not shown us everything with specifics, which is why the need to trust is so important. If we cannot trust God to bring His will to pass, then we are actually saying that God cannot be trusted. That’s blasphemy, isn’t it? The problem is us, not God.
Focusing on Situations Takes Our Eyes Off God
I pointed this out with this most recent presidential election. I had a problem with the outcome. I was frustrated and even angry. It was not until I began to realize that my questioning of God was really another way of saying that I don’t trust Him that I began to see the big picture.
Likewise, there are many people who refer to themselves as Christians today who are caught up in the circumstances surrounding the election and are angry because of it. Many are saying that we did not do enough. Others are saying if only we could have guarded better against voter fraud. Still others say something else. Their focus is on what took place, not on God and His will.
Yep, there probably was voter fraud. Other things also likely occurred. There is a great chance that had voter fraud not been part of the election (if it was), then Mr. Obama would have lost. He would have been replaced with Mitt Romney. Is that what God wanted? Obviously not.
I think many start out with their thesis statement that God has abandoned America. Because He has abandoned America, He doesn’t care about the president or any allegations of voter fraud. He has turned His back on America and no longer hears or cares. Because of this, then who we have for president is entirely up to us.
Is God in Charge or Not?
I don’t believe that for a moment. I believe God is still in charge of the events of this world and certainly understands Satan’s plans inside and out! I also believe God only allows Satan’s plans to succeed as they ultimately carry forth God’s will! Too many Christians believe that we have to get and keep God’s attention. Because America has become so corrupted and allegedly in part because Christians have failed to do what they were supposed to do, God has turned His back on America and resigned this nation to failure and judgment.
First of all, God would never turn His back on His elect! Secondly, what only appears to be failure to us, leads to success with God! We see this very clearly in the life of Joseph.
Joseph, as a young man of roughly 17, had a gift of dreaming dreams and being able to interpret them. He was also immature and he bragged about this gift to this family and especially to his brothers. He did not realize that he did not create this gift inside himself, but was merely the receptacle for the gift that God provided. If God provided it, did He want it used for Joseph’s glory or for God’s glory? Obviously, for God’s glory, but in order to see that, God had to take Joseph down a rough road of learning. The end result of all that learning was the fulfillment of God’s will not only for Joseph, but for his family and for the future nation of Israel that had not yet been born.
Let’s take a look briefly at a couple of highlights from Joseph’s life after he was sold into slavery. See if any of this applies to you.
Tragic Events in Joseph’s Life Ordained by God
To me, one of the most interesting things about Joseph and his situation is how far down the Lord brought him, in order to bring him up. Of course, this was the plan simply because God knew that Joseph needed to be fully humbled before he would be ready to use. But it is also important to understand that God specifically used numerous situations along the way for Joseph that we say were terrible and even unfair. That’s because it is easier for us to focus on individual events or situations than on God’s overall picture.
God’s plan for Joseph was big. In fact, by all standards, it was huge and if Joseph did not have the proper attitude and understanding of his own sin nature, human frailty, and tendency toward ego as well as gaining the upper hand over those things through His dependence upon God, he would fail and fail miserably. God ensured this did not happen and He did so by putting Joseph in situations where his very will and ego would be stretched beyond compare. Through the very difficult trials of his life, Joseph was blessed by God with something far more valuable than physical riches. God blessed Joseph with wisdom, common sense, an ability to reign in his ego, and a desire for righteousness.
Because of the attributes that God grew within Joseph, when he became the second in command over all of Egypt, the one thing that did not result within Joseph was an inflated ego. He did not become enamored with his position or rank. He knew beyond doubt that where he had come to in life, he had come purely by God’s design and by His grace.
Joseph knew that the gifts he had, were given to him by God, and because of that, he had no right to boast in these gifts, or misuse them. He had not created his ability to interpret dreams. God had given Him that ability. Since God provided that gift, then it became obvious to Joseph that this gift was to be used not for his own glory, in holding it over the head of his parents or brothers. It was a gift, which was to be used for God’s glory and His glory only.
Things went well for Joseph even as a slave in Potiphar’s house, for a while. Unfortunately, as we are aware, the day came when Potiphar’s wife expressed the desire to sleep with Joseph. Joseph refused and as he tried to get away, she grabbed his outer garment and he slipped out of it as he fled. When it came time to accuse Joseph of attempted rape, she had the evidence she needed – his garment.
From Potiphar to Prison
Potiphar turned Joseph over to prison. He could have had him killed but that was not part of God’s plan. This looked terrible for Joseph! He was being unjustly treated for something he did not do! Had God turned His back on Joseph or was merely another step in God’s will for Joseph? Ultimately, it wasn’t just for Joseph, was it? This happened because of where God needed to place Joseph so that not only Joseph and his family would survive the coming famine, but Israel would be born. If Joseph and his brothers were wiped out by famine, Israel would not have come into existence, since they became the patriarchs of this nation.
During the time Joseph remained locked in prison, the prison keeper began to see Joseph as someone who was not as the other prisoners. God had caused the prison keeper to see Joseph in a favored light. Was this due to Joseph? No, it was obviously due to God’s own purposes. He was going to bring certain things to fruition in and through Joseph. It was because of this that God brought Joseph into favor with the prison keeper.
The prison keeper came to the point of placing so much trust in Joseph that he did not worry, or as the text says – “paid no attention” – to anything that was under Joseph’s care. This is not something that occurs, unless God’s hand is involved in the situation. Think about it. The prison keeper had absolutely no reason to trust Joseph at all. Like the others who were incarcerated, as far as the prison keeper was concerned, they were there for a reason. The reason was that they had apparently broken the law. Prison was their reward. The only reason Joseph would have stood out among all the other prisoners was due to God’s hand on his life. This is why Joseph came across favorably to the prison keeper.
It seems from the biblical text itself, that in short order, Joseph was virtually running the prison! This same scenario occurred when Joseph was in Potiphar’s house. He entered as a slave – virtually owned and imprisoned by someone else – and before he left Potiphar’s house, he was second in command.
Situations Simply Move us From Point A to Point B
It is tempting for us to focus on situations in our lives that we do not understand and to respond in frustration or anger because of them. Obviously, when we do this, we are not trusting God. We are trusting in our own “wisdom” such as it is.
If we are complaining to God, we are not seeing the fact that God causes all things to work for our good. Our inability to accept certain situations (and again, we are talking about situations which seem to simply occur, through no fault of our own), from God, keeps us from growing in our faith.
God gave Joseph a gift. He soon learned that this gift was only to be used for one purpose: glorifying God. It was because of the potential to misuse of this gift that Joseph found himself in hot water with his family. In spite of this though, God’s will was fully accomplished in and through Joseph.
Though his brothers meant him harm, Joseph’s situation was ordained by God to bring him to greater spiritual heights and glorify God in the process. In spite of being sold into slavery, the Lord blessed Joseph. Potiphar viewed Joseph favorably and gave him tremendous responsibility because of it. What Joseph of course, did not realize at the time was that he was being trained for a far greater mission; a mission in which the entire nation of Israel would be brought to fruition, in spite of famine and given great rewards upon their exit from Egypt. This is God working to accomplish what He sets out to accomplish.
We see a change in Joseph from the time he bragged about his dreams to his brothers, mother, and father one day bowing to him, to arriving at a point where he had obviously given his life to God. This is exactly what Paul means in Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus,” (NASB).
Do You Believe God Cares for You in Good and Bad Times?
Can you say with Paul that you are confident that God will continue to do that good work in you until the day we stand before Jesus? If He has bought us, and we have received His salvation, so that we are no longer our own, but His, then how could it be otherwise, in spite of what circumstances may seem to want to tell us.
I know many are frustrated about the recent election. But to allow our frustration to grow into anger is not glorifying to God, in my opinion. We will continue to read about more articles related to this administration that will undoubtedly not settle well with us. Instead of focusing on those articles, it’s probably best to simply trust that God knows what He is doing and to simply accept what has transpired as His will.
In all things give thanks, because this is the will of God concerning you, (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What does that mean if it does not refer to all things? Is God in control of all outcomes, or only the ones that you like?
During those times when we do not know God’s will ahead of time, it is easy to become discouraged. This is exactly what happened in Joseph’s life and through these trials that God sent, Joseph learned the meaning of faith.
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