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Message

Why Do Bad Things Happen? - Part 4, Why Here?
Miles McPherson - July 17, 2011

Message Recap

How can your trial become something beneficial for someone else?

Pastor Miles began today’s message with a story from his football days as a safety for the San Diego Chargers. In 1984 during a game against the Raiders, Miles executed a defensive play that ended in an injury, essentially ending his football career. Now on a bus next to a surgeon on the way home, Miles could have wallowed in his own pain and disappointment as he realized, “I’m supposed to be on the field, not on a bus home sitting next to a surgeon!” But he also realized that he still loved God and still was God’s representative, so it wasn’t time to take a vacation from his faith just because he had ice on his leg. He was given an unexpected two hours to speak to his doctor, now a captive audience, about his life and faith!

In your life, as you face various trials, you will find yourself with people and in places where you wouldn’t normally be. In these moments, our response should be to ask God, “Why am I here? What do you want me to do while I am here?”

Beginning in chapter 37, the Book of Genesis chronicles the life of Joseph, the favorite of Jacob’s twelve sons. As a result of their jealousy, Joseph’s brothers stripped him of his cloak, cast him in a pit, and decided to sell him to some passing Ishmaelites (v. 23-28). Joseph was now traveling to Egypt and placed in the house of Potiphar as a slave, but the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man. Genesis 39:2

You may never really know the whole reason that you are going through your drama, but you can trust that God is working it out while you remain faithful to Him.

Although Joseph had favor in the eyes of his master and was soon a valued servant, when he was falsely accused of seducing his master’s wife, he was thrown into prison. Yet even in prison, the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper. Genesis 39: 23

While in prison, Joseph was given the opportunity to interpret the dreams of two other prisoners. Later when Pharaoh himself had troubling dreams, a former prisoner told him about Joseph, who was brought before Pharaoh to interpret. In turn for his wise counsel, Joseph was given an appointment of honor and power under Pharaoh’s rule.

Joseph loved God and obeyed him every step of the way, even in the midst of his own suffering. In reading about Joseph’s life, we can glean that God is faithful and able to turn even the worst of circumstances to accomplish His good plans. You may never really know the whole reason that you are going through your drama, but you can trust that God is working it out while you remain faithful to Him.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

1. Grow where your trials plant you.

Joseph honored Potiphar, the man who bought him. Genesis 39:1-3
Joseph faithfully served the jailer who imprisoned him. Genesis 39:21-23
Joseph imparted God’s wisdom to Pharoah. Genesis 41:28-32

Have you ever seen a flower growing out of a city sidewalk? It may look strange, but it’s a reminder that we have the opportunity to flourish wherever we are, even in the most unlikely places.

2. Find God’s power and favor amidst your pain. Genesis 39:1-3, Genesis 39:21-23, Genesis 41:28-32

Joseph was more committed to fulfilling God’s plan than taking revenge on his brothers. Genesis 45:1-8

In the midst of trial, it’s easy to stay focused on your own discomfort. Trials can bring you to your knees and cause you to draw nearer to God, but while there, don’t simply pray for your own pain to be relieved. God may want to do something in and through you. He may want you to be a miracle for someone else. For example, if you’re in the hospital, you’ll be in contact with many people you would not otherwise have met, so view that place as your ministry field for as long as you stay.

3. Discover God’s plan to bless others through your painful experience. Genesis 45:1-8, Genesis 50:19-20

God redeemed Joseph from slavery and prison and raised him to a position of influence and respect. Although God did not necessarily cause Joseph’s trials, He was able to use them for Joseph’s benefit and ultimately to restore Joseph’s relationship with his brothers. Having forgiven his brothers for their sin against him, he reflects in Genesis 45:8, “So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

You may not see today how God will use your suffering, but if you obey God, He will. Our sovereign God wants to do something powerful through you while you are in your pain. He can take the evil deeds of others and transform them into powerful good.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Don’t throw away the comfort you have received from God! Step back from your situation and ask God how to pass on the blessing to someone else.

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

This 6-part series aims to answer the age old question of why bad things happen when a loving God is in control. We may not always understand our troubles, but we can know God is at work in our pains and wants to use them for good.

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