Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Friday, December 8 - Changing The Trajectory

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” — Genesis 50:20

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A great high school coach once told me that three to five plays can totally turn the trajectory of a game. If you venture back through some of the greatest games in your mind, you can find a certain play that altered the outcome of that game.

One of the greatest such instances was in Super Bowl XLII. The New York Giants went 10-6 in the regular season and were playing the New England Patriots, who were 16-0. On paper, the better team was clearly the Patriots. In the final two minutes of the game, Eli Manning escaped traffic and threw a pass toward David Tyree, who caught the ball by pinning it his helmet. That incredible play led to a touchdown and ultimately a 17-14 victory for the Giants. That one play helped change the trajectory of the game.

In life, there are certain instances that — even though we may see them as negative or adversity — can help change our trajectories as well. Case in point: Joseph (read his story in Genesis 37-50). His brothers hated him because his father loved him dearly. They hated Joseph so much that they concocted a plan to kill him, but instead ended up selling him to a caravan of traders. This led him to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoah’s guard who bought him as a servant, which took Joseph through prosperity to prison and then back to prosperity again (that’s a devotional within itself)! In the end, Joseph found himself back in a place of notoriety within Potiphar’s house, which led him to be placed in a position where ultimately he would, during one of the greatest famines in the Bible, care for his family who betrayed him.

All of this led to the verse that speaks volumes in Genesis 50:20, where Joseph told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

As we face adversity in life, we can look at it two different ways: as a stumbling block or a building block. Don’t allow hard times to defeat you or even define you, but allow them to be used as an opportunity for God to teach you and to propel you into the place where He can bless you the most!

— Scott Nicholson, Mississippi State University football chaplain

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