God’s Most Successful Setback
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9–11)
Christmas was God’s most successful setback. He has always delighted to show his power through apparent defeat. He makes tactical retreats in order to win strategic victories.
Joseph was promised glory and power in his dream (Genesis 37:5–11). But to achieve that victory he had to become a slave in Egypt. And as if that were not enough, when his conditions improved because of his integrity, he was made worse than a slave — a prisoner.
But it was all planned. For there in prison he met Pharaoh’s butler, who eventually brought him to Pharaoh who put him over Egypt. What an unlikely route to glory!
But that is God’s way — even for his Son. He emptied himself and took the form of a slave. Worse than a slave — a prisoner — and was executed. But like Joseph, he kept his integrity. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9–10).
And this is God’s way for us too. We are promised glory — if we will suffer with him (Romans 8:17). The way up is down. The way forward is backward. The way to success is through divinely appointed setbacks. They will always look and feel like failure.
But if Joseph and Jesus teach us anything this Christmas it is this: “God meant it for good!” (Genesis 50:20).
You fearful saints fresh courage take
The clouds you so much dread
Are big with mercy and will break
In blessings on your head.
From “Joseph and Jesus: God’s Successful Setbacks”
Oddly enough, (well, not odd at all I guess) this has been my complaint lately: that God works in opposites. I said to a friend lately that he is such a God of contradictions (to be first, you must be last, etc) and my friend said that He is a God of reversals
(A God of reversal
Reversing chaos into order
Reversing brokenness into wholeness
Reversing despair into hope
Reversing death into life)
Here in this reading for the day, I find someone talking about it, dissecting it with me and for me. My world gets lonely when I stop spending time with God. You may question the things that happen, why they happen, or what the heck the point of it all may be. That is normal. Here’s the thing: don’t give up! Don’t give up! Think back on when you believed for even just a second. That was a glorious second. That can be experienced again and again. The Salvation that comes from God is in every moment. We have so much opportunity to be filled up and it is so easy to do. We have a tendency to get in our own way though. That’s where you have to be diligent and persistent. Don’t let the “you” that gets in your way discourage you and keep you from the prize. Don’t give up!! Fight with prayer and fight with others Thru the haze and the fog. There is a peace beyond all comprehension that I have experienced. And I choose to experience it again, right now. That’s it. God, thank you for my life. Thank you for Your love. And thank you for my salvation. I pray love over anyone who reads this and I pray You everlasting peace in their lives today. Amen!!!
Go get you some of this day!!