Word Alive! © 2020 Summer Series
We Can Get Through This!
Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton
Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor
Tuesday, 13, Oct., 2020
Max Lucado, “You’ll Get Through This,” Lesson 16, (Chapter 15)
Devotional Time: “You’ll Get Through This,” (pp. 153-159)
The Defeat of Evil – Perhaps the most pernicious issue confronting believers in the sacred Word, is the conundrum of evil. Where did evil come from? Did God create evil, to test the power of good, as some have believed? If evil is against everything God stands for, why does it exist? While these questions cannot be easily answered, we know this: Evil does exist, and the scriptures describe both its presence and effects. The tiny Hebrew word ra’ (rah) is most often rendered in the Old Testament. The term is from a base word (ra a’) which means literally, “to break into pieces.” A fuller definition is “something adverse, afflicting, or bad.” As the story of Joseph concludes, his father (Jacob) has died, and the brothers are terrified at the thought of Joseph retaliating against them for the wrong afflicted on him. Joseph’s siblings, as they had done previously, offered to submit themselves in servitude to their brother. Joseph assured them he had no such plans. What the brothers did to “harm” Joseph, God used the experience for “good (cf. Genesis 50:15-21, NKJV).” There isn’t any affliction, harm, or circumstance that God can’t turn around or defeat. Max Lucado says, Joseph could have given up, but he did not. In troubling times, we must not abandon our faith. A stronger faith often is born out of adversity! Evil never wins absolutely; it will be defeated! In one of his most memorable sermons titled, The Death of Evil Upon the Seashore, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Christianity clearly affirms that in the long struggle between good and evil, good eventually will emerge as victor. Evil is ultimately doomed by the powerful, inexorable forces of good.” Joseph faced the greatest calamity of his life, yet he acquiesced to the needs of his brothers for forgiveness and compassion. The scriptures teach us that we should not allow the crisis or wrong we encounter to overtake us. We should trust God in revealing His plan for directing us through and beyond the conflict (cf. Proverbs 20:22, NLT). In his devotional book, You’ll Get Through This, author Max Lucado describes a pattern he noticed in Genesis 50. Three words summed up Joseph’s tough ordeal: Evil + God = Good. He reminds us that Joseph told his brothers: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Joseph suffered because of his brothers’ evil; but God was with him, and used the ordeal to bring much good!
God Will Bring About Good – There isn’t any crisis or calamity we could ever face that does not have some effect on us. The scriptures warn us how dangerous it is in attempting to harm others, under any circumstances (cf. Proverbs 17;13, NLT). We should never be complicit with others in plotting ways of harming others (cf. Proverbs 24:1, NLT). Each of Joseph’s brothers had to bear responsibility for what happened to him. Whether our crisis has come at the hands of others; or, the result of some calamitous force beyond our ability to halt, we must give full reverence to God and obey His commands (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NLT). God often has a plan for us even when we can’t figure out what we’re going through. Max Lucado says: “God sees a Joseph in you. Yes, you! You in the pit. You incarcerated in your own version of an Egyptian jail…There is a famine out there. Will you harvest hope and distribute it to the people? Will you be a Joseph?” Jesus said we should pray to avoid the temptation that leads us in the direction of anything wrong or harmful (cf. Matthew 6:13, NLT). We should listen to the voice of God, leading us toward what is good in the worst of circumstances. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word krazo (krad-zo), was translated “good.” It means literally “to croak,” which is the distinct sound of a raven. The idea is that God will bring us to a place and time, where and when we can hear His distinct voice (cf. Joshua 1:8, NKJV). Paul also speaks of the “good” that comes from honoring God (cf. Romans 1:10-11, NLT). Turbulent times will not be with us always. There is inevitably an end to all things. It’s important to know that while we’re going through a different and challenging season, we have the assurance of God’s abiding presence. The psalmist said, “In the time of trouble, He shall hide me…’) Trouble within the context of the Hebrew language, meant literally “an obstacle in the road.” Obstacles can cause detours, but they don’t last forever. The majestic rhythm of Romans 8, is like a concluding symphony arrangement. It reminds us that whatever we’re going through, God is at work to make sure that every challenge is for our “good.” We will get through this and more!
What We Believe
Only with God can bad experiences evolve into good.
1. No evil could ever defeat God!
2. Inherent in every crisis, is the plan for God’s greater purpose!
Genesis 50:15-21, NKJV
“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded saying, ‘This you shall say to Joseph: I beg you, please forgive the trespasses of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.” “Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your Father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold we are your servants.” Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me: but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as itis this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid: I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
Proverbs 20:22: NLT
“Do not say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.”
Proverbs 17:13, NLT
“If you repay good with evil, evil will never leave your house.”
Proverbs 24:1, NLT
“Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NLT
“This is the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is every-one’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad [evil].”
Matthew 6:13, NLT
“And don’t let us yield to temptation but rescue us from the evil one.”
Joshua 1:8, NKJV
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night., that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Romans 1:10-11, NLT
“But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good – for the few first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.”
Romans 8:28, NLT
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”