Somewhere along the way someone went before you to bring you life. The first thought that comes to mind is your mom and dad. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be here right now. Along with that life will be suffering, trials, and victories. Proverbs 20:24 says, “Man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how can man understand His ways? God’s ways are not our ways nor can we understand Him.” God is God, and we trust Him to do what He does. He may take us a long way around a matter, or He may bring victory immediately. As I was telling this to the ladies in jail; it came to me that they may think I was saying that God ordains pain for us. God “doesn’t want any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” “And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” What is His purpose? It’s that we might have life and have it more abundant. Someone had to pay the price and that person was Jesus. The Bible says Jesus died at the hands of godless men; Jesus laid down His life for us.
Joseph went before his family to give them life, but look at the way it took place. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers who later covered his coat with blood so that his dad would believe he was dead. Then he was sold into slavery, lied about by Potifar’s wife, thrown into prison and forgotten about then finally the cup bearer remembered Joseph and he was called on to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. He finds favor with the Pharaoh and was put in charge of the grain. A famine comes to the area where Joseph’s family lives so they come to Egypt to get food. Little do they know they are dealing with the brother they sold into slavery all those years ago. I love verse 20 in chapter 50 of Genesis where it says, “But as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring to pass this day to save many people alive.” Joseph had to go ahead of his family so they could have life just as Jesus went before us to the cross to bring us life. The big difference is Jesus’ life that He gives is eternal. We repent, which means to change one’s mind, and receive God’s salvation. It’s not about good or bad behavior, it’s about what Jesus did on the cross and Jesus did not stay in the grave, but God raised Him from the dead and He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us and reconcile us to Himself.
On the surface it may look like the enemy has won. Joseph’s brothers thought they had gotten rid of him for good but God used it to preserve their very own lives. Jesus on the other hand seemed to be defeated on the cross but little did the devil know it was his very own defeat. The devil is still God’s devil and has no power; the devil takes what God creates and perverts it and tempts us with it. The good news is that we don’t have to listen to the devil, but keep our eyes on Jesus, trusting Him to keep us. And He is keeping us.
One of the girls I counseled wrote me a poem called SHE: “For every trial and tribulation we’ve been through she doesn’t judge us. She motivates us to become better than what we have ever been, through God’s trust. A phenomenal woman is what she is and no one can top that, no sir. She keeps her door ajar and welcomes us; motivation is only beginning of her stir. She loves us and treats us no differently than what these judges do, for sure. Tracey is one of a kind, an angel in disguise, the color in the rainbow after the storm, yeah that’s her. She signs it: I will love you until I’m old.”
That poem made me cry when I read it because I know God has changed this young lady’s heart. As well as several other women who came forward in jail tonight after writing down names of people they want to forgive, on a paper heart. They tore it up and placed the broken pieces in open Bibles we were holding in front of the room. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I saw God revealing His love to these ladies. Now, that is giving life to others.
Written by Tracey