I published post, several days ago, entitled “Why We Shouldn’t Envy Those Who Do Not Know God and Still Appear to Prosper”. In it I wrote that the reason that we shouldn’t envy them is that we know from scripture and the promises of God what their end will be. They will fade away like flowers;
Psalm 37:1-2 (NLT)1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
Their destiny has been determined;
Psalm 73:16-21 (NLT)16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is!17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors.20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside.
Today, on Crosswalk.com, I read a devotion titled “God Uses the Wicked”, from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries, which I will share with you, that shows the God can and does use those who don’t know or acknowledge Him, to bless His children. While they, the wicked, think that they are hurting or taking advantage of you God is actually doing what he said in;
Romans 8:28 (NLT)28 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.
In his devotion, Dr. Stanley uses the story of Joseph to prove his point (read Genesis chapter 37 for background).
Here’s the devotion:
God Uses the Wicked
When we don't understand what God is doing or why, His ways can seem perplexing. The times when ungodly people seem to triumph over the righteous make us scratch our heads and wonder why the Lord doesn't intervene. But the truth is, He often uses the wicked to accomplish His purpose.
Joseph faced one hard-hearted individual after another during his years in exile. His brothers shipped him off to Egypt. His boss's wife accused him of an unspeakable crime. And even those he helped, like Pharaoh's cupbearer, forgot about him (Gen. 40:23). The actions (or seeming inactions) of God make little sense at this point.
But once the story of Joseph's life was written in full, it was clear that everyone who harmed or neglected the young man contributed to God's plan. The Lord used numerous people across several years to bring a humbled young Hebrew unexpectedly to power at the right moment to spare his family--who were the Messiah's ancestors--from the effects of famine.
In our circumstances, we can see God's actions only from the limited vantage point of our humanness. We experience the events He has allowed or caused but can't discern what He is thinking. Often the Lord's goals and purposes are hidden from us until His plans come to fruition.
God is sovereign over all the earth. We may wonder at the strange or even terrifying turns our lives take, but we can be certain that He is in control and at work. The wicked may triumph for a season, but the final, eternal victory belongs to Christ and His righteous followers.
When the wicked seem to have the upper hand remember you’re not alone. God’s got your back and he has something better in store for you and yours.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.