Nothing better than a movie with a good surprise ending. Example: The Sixth Sense.
Sometimes nothing worse in life than a surprise ending. Sometimes nothing better.
The life of Joseph is a study in surprises:
He had a dream: that his family would bow down to him. If your the youngest of a bunch of brothers, that’s probably a common dream. But this was a God dream.
He told everyone about it, which led to his brothers selling him into slavery and faking his death. Awesome.
He goes to Egypt as a slave. Even as a slave he excels and is given leadership. Then he is falsely accused and thrown into prison.
In prison he excels and is given leadership. He interprets dreams but does not see his own fulfilled. Even those he helps forget about him.
Finally someone remembers his talent for dreams, and he interprets one for Pharaoh, who then sets the slave from prison up as his second in command.
His brothers come for food during the famine, and his first dream finally comes true.
41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[b] and people shouted before him, “Make way[c]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.
44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” …
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps.
We often ask “why do bad things happen to good people.” The reverse is also a great question – “why do good things happen to bad people?”
There’s no way in a million years Joseph could have concocted a series of events that ends with a Jewish boy from Canaan ruling all of Egypt.
In the middle of hardship, it is hard to see what God is up to.
The single defining truth hard-wired into the heart of every exile who remains faithful is this: “God is in control.”
Our lives are an example of God’s goodness – in hardship or in blessing.
We are proof that God is love. God is FOR us. God is on our side.
We carry that truth to the world. The Gospel is insanely good news because God has not left us at the hands of fate or Karma or the Universe. He is WITH us (emmanuel).
I can say with great confidence that every step of my life has meaning, even when I don’t see it. And I extend this offer of meaning to everyone outside the knowledge of Jesus.
Romans 8 (msg)
…we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothingcan get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.