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God’s Unpredictable Ways

Joseph, in the Old Testament, was allowed to be sold into slavery so that “when the proper time came” he would be in Egypt, where he was going to be trained to be a ruler and used mightily of God. (Genesis 50:20) How would you have transferred Joseph to Egypt, preparing his character all the while for the position he was to hold? How would you have instilled within Joseph patience? Fairness? Courage? Leadership? I don’t think I would have seriously considered the slavery, prison, betrayal routes that the Lord chose for Joseph. I wouldn’t have been able to comprehend how the treachery, his brothers hatred, the lonely hours separated from his beloved father, and the interminable days in prison could have been part of his preparation as a ruler in Egypt. The unfathomable ways of the Lord.

Have you ever noticed one of the important details that seemed to determine God’s deliverance from Egypt for the Israelites? Genesis 15:13-16: “Then Jehovah told Abram, ‘Your descendants will be oppressed as slaves in a foreign land for 400 years . . . after four generations they will return here to this land; for the wickedness of the Amorite nations living here now will not be ready for punishment until then.'”

The Amorites? They fit into Your plans? They’re enemies of Israel! Why should they be considered and be the factor that keeps us enslaved? Are You aware of our misery? Don’t You see how we are mistreated? I just don’t understand.

Every detail, even the lives of their enemies, had to be ready. The unfathomable ways of the Lord.

The man was lying at the gate of the Temple. This had been his regular station for many years, for he was “lame from birth” and was carried there every day to ask for alms. Jesus of Nazareth passed by that gate and no doubt the poor man held out his cup and cried, “Alms! Alms!” But Jesus passed him by!

And then one day, Peter and John passed that gate, and when the lame man called out for alms, they said, “We don’t have any money to give you, but we give you what we have to offer . . . in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” (Acts 3:1-8)

Jesus had seen him. Peter and John had passed that way before. Why was he healed today? The “fullness of time” had come for him…and for 5,000 souls who listened as Peter preached. Every detail was ready. The compassionate ways of the Lord.

Our Lord lingered when Martha and Mary sent their urgent plea, “Come quickly. Lazarus is very ill!” Why did He linger? What was His plan?

He knew what was going to happen, and that great glory would come to God if He would just wait for a few days until all the details had been arranged. Martha and Mary didn’t know what His plans were. Can you imagine how distressed they were?

Where is He? Why doesn’t He come? What’s taking so long? I cant endure this waiting any longer! Surely He received our message! Do you think that maybe He doesn’t know?

But the ways of the Lord were good. (Luke 11:1-44)

The ways of the Lord are good.

Belief in God’s sovereignty gives us the security of knowing God is in control, but it also assigns us the responsibility of using our freedom to make wise choices and to remain faithful to Him. It assures us that God is transcendent without canceling out the important role we play. God’s sovereignty allows us to believe that He is bigger than our circumstances and will make our lives better through those circumstances.
– Gerald L. Sittser: A Grace Disguised

Mark 9:24: “Lord, I do believe; help my unbelief.”

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.