WHAT PEOPLE MEAN TO HARM YOU WITH, GOD WILL USE IT TO BRING YOU TO YOUR DESTINY

Can you imagine…

  • You are promised a leadership role and to be of great influence in your near future, but instead…
  • Your brothers are jealous of your potential and despise you to the point they conspire to take your life.
  • They throw you into a pit, fake your death and tell your father that you are dead.
  • Your brothers sell you as a slave. You are taken to a foreign country.
  • You are working for free and your boss’s wife accuses you that your tried to rape her and you go to prison for something you did not do.
  • You start helping people in prison. You end up helping the right person who can possibly redeem you. This person promises to remember you and get you out of prison. But they end up forgetting you.

Do setbacks sound familiar to you? People trying to hurt you? These events are exactly what happed to Joseph in the Bible.  You can read Joseph’s details in Genesis chapters 39 through 51. Joseph was despised and rejected by family, people lied about his integrity and character, he was overlooked for promotion, he served time for a crime he did not commit, but yet we read how Joseph seemed to have the right perspective and attitude throughout the entire process.

How we adjust our attitude toward people who try to hurt us and toward the setbacks in our life is so important to what comes next in our life.

We can try to get revenge, get even, allow bitterness to rob our joy and destroy our optimism. Or we can learn from Joseph and place priority on our integrity, perspective and attitude.

We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we have the power to control what happens IN us. Attitude and perspective positions us for a better outcome.

Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Adjusting our “sails” toward the wind is adjusting the right attitude toward the wrong that people do against us. It’s adjusting the right perspective when circumstances do not go the way we expect them to. Our attitude and perspective determines which direction our life will sail.

Joseph made a statement that allows us to observe the foundation of his heart. Genesis 50:19-20, “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” This is the rock solid foundation that allowed him to not crash and burn during those trying times, but rather position him to reach his purpose and destiny.

Like Joseph, we can choose to believe God has allowed us to go through trying times, but better days are coming. “I am in the place of God”. The hurtful things that people do, do not dictate our destiny. Remember, while Joseph was going through this process, God was still watching over Joseph and blessing him along the way. God blessed Joseph while working for free. God caused him to prosper (Genesis 39:3). While Joseph was in prison, God was with him, showed kindness and gave him favor with people (Genesis 39:20-21).

When God wants to favor you, NO ONE has the power to stop it.

  • God can take your destruction and turn it around and place you in your destiny.
  • God will use your setbacks and use them to “set you up” for greater things.
  • God can take the doors that have been slammed shut in your life and cover you with His favor to open greater doors.

What people mean to harm you with, God will use it for your good.

Signs You May be STUCK in Your Past

1. You are consistently talking about your past.

We can get stuck rehearsing who hurt us, how we have failed, what we are lacking, how we are rejected, who is not supporting us, how we don’t have the right skills, talent or education.

Rehearsing the “curse” will not reverse the “curse”. It just keeps it connected and alive.

2. You refuse to formulate a good plan for your great future. 

God states that He has a good plan for our future in Jeremiah 29:11. Why do we delay in formulating a good plan to move forward? If God has a great plan for our future, then shouldn’t we be planning with God?

Don’t plan on failing, plan on succeeding. That’s what God is planning for you.

3. Your passion has died for your future.

Do you have more stories about your past than dreams for your future?

When you have passion for your future, you dream. God wants you to dream about your future. In fact, your expectation and thoughts give God something to work with. Your expectations and thoughts fuel your faith for your future. Look at Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, God says, “Whatever you think or dream about for your future, I will exceed your expectations.”

God does not want us stuck in our past. Spending more energy, thoughts and passion on your past means less energy and passion toward your future.

“You can’t have great success in your future if you stay stuck thinking about a failed past.”

It is HIGHLY important for your relationships that you do not get stuck in your past failures.

“How you see yourself will be how you see others.”

Judges 6:12-16 shares with us that God was trying to call Gideon for a greater purpose, but Gideon was stuck about his past. He was very upset about how things were going the last several years. Gideon’s perspective was that things was so bad in his past, he basically called God out and said that God had abandoned him. Gideon had low self-esteem, he seen himself as the weakest and least person in his family and nation. But that’s not what God seen.

God said…  “Gideon, you are a mighty warrior.”

Gideon said…  “I am the least in my family and nation.”

 God said… “Go in the STRENGTH you have.”

Gideon said… “I come from a weak family.”

 God said… “I am sending you.”

Gideon said… “God has abandoned me.”

Arguing with God about what your past and what you don’t have will not bring the breakthrough sooner. It only delays what God is desiring to bring into your life.

Four things God taught Gideon that will help us get UNSTUCK:

  1. Your family history is not your destiny.
  2. Stop thinking like a victim, and start believing you are a victor.
  3. Speak at a higher level of faith when it comes to your future. God doesn’t address Gideon’s low perspective by arguing. God simply declares a higher Truth over Gideon.
  4. Don’t let anyone else hold the pen while writing your story. (A quote by Harley Davidson.)

You may not feel hope for your future but God does. God wants to do something new in you. Remember God specializes in CREATING. He is a God who saves us from disaster, delivers us from evil, opens closed doors, transforms us into a new creation.

Consider His word which declares we are not captive or bound to our past…

Isaiah 43:18-19, ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

I declare your God is bigger than your past. You are not stuck, but are free to reach forward to the greater things God has prepared for you!

It’s Time for a Change

We desire certain areas of our life to change. We want certain circumstances to change. We want more joy. Be able to forgive more. Operate at a higher level of love or faith. We want to be out of debt or desire more money. Perform better at a skillset or in our career. We want a better job or stronger relationships within our marriage, or with our children.

But here is the deal about change…

“We cannot change the way we feel, until we begin to change what we think. And we cannot begin to see ourselves in a new place, if we don’t begin to take our mind to a new place.”

Someone once said, “The state of your life is nothing more than the state of your mind.”

The way we are thinking may be keeping us stuck. If you have tried responding to a problem the same way over and over again, then it may be time to try a different way. If your spouse, children, boss, friend or co-worker is not responding to what you are trying to say to them; then it would be worth your effort to try to communicate in a different way. Whatever the situation is, try something new.

  • Try different words
  • Try a different tone or attitude
  • Try a different time of day
  • Try a different perspective
  • Try a different route
  • Try talking to a different person
  • Try reading a new book
  • Try having a different conversation, a new topic

Albert Einstein said it like this, “You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.”

Misinformation, misbeliefs, wrong routines and habits can cause a lot of issues in our life. They can also leave us stuck in a rut. You can be passionate about YOUR way of doing it; but if its not producing the right results, you are probably passionately wrong for that current situation.

It is possible to change our circumstances and even our life by changing the way we think. Don’t get stuck in the same ruts or patterns of thinking. If thinking the same thoughts and beliefs are not improving your life, then its time to change your mind.

We can renew our mind. God tells us we can.

Romans 12:2 – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

  • Don’t copy old routines that don’t work or produce the right results.
  • Change the way you are thinking.

Philippians 4:8-9 – “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me–everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

  • Fix your thoughts on what is true, right.
  • Keep putting this into practice.

If we lack wisdom, which is the ability to apply knowledge, God says ASK and He will GIVE. James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

You must renew your mind; God’s not going to do it for you.

Look at what God has given us in 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

  • God will do his part, but we must do our part.
  • God has given us a spirit of power, a spirit of love & the ability to exercise self-discipline. We have to activate and engage in what God has given us.

Self-discipline in our thoughts helps us renew our minds. This is how transformation and change takes place. It begins by disciplining our thoughts.

Practical steps to renew our mind:

  1. Ask yourself this question, “which fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) will I intentionally display today?” Pick one and do your best to take action to display that fruit of the spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
  2. Check up on yourself throughout the day… What is dominated your thoughts? Is it good or bad? Is it producing the right or wrong feeling?
  3. Exchange your thoughts. If it is the wrong thought, what is the opposite thought? Go there. Exchange resentment with love, sadness with joy, worry with peace, anxiousness with patience, rudeness/snippy with kindness, destructive attitudes with ones that will produce goodness, quitting and checking out with faithfulness, being pushy and hard-nosed with gentleness, laziness and procrastination with self-control.

Norman Vincent Peale was brilliant in teaching, writing and exemplified how having the right thoughts and mindset would impact our life in an incredible way. He simply said it this way, “Change Your Thoughts and Your World will Change.”