God Meant It For Good
Joseph dreamt of great things. People—even his family—will bow down to him. He will be great. Yet, a series of tragic events seemed to be leading him away from his dreams than towards them. His own brothers sold him to slavery. He got framed for attempted rape. He languished in prison. Forgotten, seemingly for good.
Then, God finally opened the door for him. He became the prime minister of Egypt, second only to the authority the pharaoh. His dreams came true! (Obviously, by now, you knew that I was talking about Joseph the dreamer. You can read his story from Genesis 37-50.)
In the end, Joseph acknowledged that God was ultimately in control all along: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (50:20. Emphasis added.) It took thirteen years from the time he dreamt to the time he saw its fulfillment. (Compare 37:2 and 41:46.) That’s why Pastor Phil Tuttle, president of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, concluded, “God is more concerned with the development of the dreamer more than the fulfillment of his dreams.”
|From right to left: Phil Tuttle, his wife Ellen, my wife Ellen and me.|
As we teach our children to suffer well, we must emphasize that God is more concerned with our character than our comfort. That God meant for good every challenges—whether trials or temptations. In the end, like Joseph, our children must recognize that God is ultimately in control. Pastor Charles Swindoll wrote, “One of the marks of spiritual maturity is the quiet confidence that God is in control without the need to understand why He does what He does.” 
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We need to grow that “quiet confidence” in the hearts of our children, for them to see their lives from God’s point of view of the tapestry, not from theirs.
If we could, by some wonderful force from heaven, be allowed to slip from this earth in our present state and into the glory of heaven, we would not find one shred of evidence that reveals panic. You would never once hear “oops” from the lips of God, or “I wonder what we’re going to do about that down there?” Nor would we ever observe anxiety across the face of the living God. We would be stunned with amazement at how calm things are around His awesome throne. From this side of glory we see the tapestry of life from underneath. It is full of knots and twisted threads and frayed ends that lack meaning and beauty. But from God’s perspective, looking at the top of the fabric, it is all under control. 
As parents, we could only do so much for our children. There are battles that we can’t fight for them. They have to fight it on their own. All we could do is train them and be there in their victory and in their defeat.
We could only pray that they will be victorious. It’s painful to see them fight and to see them defeated. We cannot totally shield them from these challenges. We cannot always be with them. But we can entrust them in the gracious hands of God. We need to recognize also that we are not in control of the lives of our children but God is.
“Let go and let God” Step
Make a list of the battles that our children are facing nowadays. How can you prepare them to be victorious in those battles? What are the lessons they need to learn to be better equipped for battle? Let us pray for our children.
NOTE: This is Day Four of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 6) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message on “Pass It On!” last April 5.
 As quoted in Bruce Wilkinson’s “The Vision of the Leader” by WorldTeach Ministries Philippines.
 Charles R. Swindoll, Encouragement for Life: Words of Hope and Inspiration (Nashville: J. Countryman, 2006), 60.