Setbacks, Setups, and God


Reading the Bible through with me? Grab your pen and journal, and get ready to write your thoughts as you journey through the Bible.
Read Genesis 48-50. Have you ever had a setback or maybe a plan that wasn’t going quite the way you thought it would or should? Maybe you thought your plan was a failure and nothing would ever come of it.
In the book Chazown, (pronounced khaw-ZONE) from the Hebrew, meaning a dream, revelation, or vision, author Craig Groeschel says, “Setbacks are often setups for God to act!”
In Genesis 48 and 49, Jacob is very old. He had listened to God and moved his family to Egypt during a terrible famine when he was 130 years old. While there, he had been reunited with his son Joseph who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers when he was a boy. Now Joseph is Prime Minister of Egypt with ultimate power.
Eventually Jacob realizes he is about to die and calls in his family. He blesses them, mentioning that he is grateful to God for the opportunity of finding his son Joseph and meeting Joseph’s children. Then, Jacob dies and is buried.
Now comes the fear. The brothers began to think that perhaps Joseph had not sought revenge because Jacob was still alive, but now that he was dead, Joseph would kill them all.
But they did not realize or understand that Joseph had remained close to God all of his life, and that changes a person. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph said to the brothers who had sold him into slavery, “You planned evil against me; but God planned it for good to bring about the present result …” God had been working in Joseph’s life even during the slavery and prison years to set up an amazing future.
Whatever setback you might be experiencing, remember this. God sees your future and has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). Trust Him even in times of turmoil and setback. He just might take you to heights you never imagined (Ephesians 3:20).
Write in your journal about the setbacks of failed plans in your life. Was the plan a Godly one? What was or is your attitude towards God when you made your plans for your life? Were you angry with Him? Write what you need to do to trust Him to set up His plan for your life?
Pray: Lord, help me to trust You even more when things seem to be working against me. I know that You are faithful and that nothing can impact my life without having first passed through Your hands. When my life is in disarray, may it drive me closer to You. May it deepen my faith in You. May it prepare me for Your plan for my life. May it strengthen my patience in waiting for You.


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