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Reputation of God

Reputation refers to the beliefs or opinions held about someone or something.

Philippians 4:8 tells those who belong to Christ can have peace when they think thoughts of good report. What are thoughts of good report? How can they produce peace in your life? Why does God want you to think about things that are of good report?

The greek word for good report is euphemous, which could be translated as admirable, commendable, proper, excellent, morally right, or speaking well of something or someone. All of which, in the context of this scripture, refer to reputation or character.

Paul is telling us that we can have peace when we think about things of good reputation, especially when we focus our thoughts on God's reputation.

All of us have certain beliefs and opinions about the character and nature of God.

It seems to me that we can be right or wrong about a reputation. We can be right or wrong about who we think God is based on our beliefs of opinions.

God's character doesn't change. He has a good reputation. How we understand Him affects what we think about Him. We need to have a correct understanding of His reputation. To think thoughts that are of good report means that we think about the true reputation of God, which is good. God is good. He is gracious. He is in control.

To develop the correct beliefs and opinions regarding God, we can look to the Bible as the foundation of truth.

Genesis 50:20 (CEV)

20 You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that he could save all these people, as he is now doing.

These words were spoken by a person named Joseph. His life gives us an example of God's gracious, providential control of all things.

His story can help us develop healthy beliefs and opinions about God.

Thinking about his story is an example of what Paul is talking about when he says to think about things that are of "good report" because, in Joseph's story, we can clearly see the character of God. This story can shape our view of God's reputation. When we have the correct beliefs or opinions about God, the result will be peace in our lives.

When you have peace, your faith will grow. Faith knowing that the same God who was in control of Josephs's life is also in control of your life!

So, who was Joseph?

Joseph was a boy who was pampered by his father, Jacob and hated by his ten older brothers, who sold him into slavery when he was seventeen years old.

In Egypt, his master's wife tried to seduce him, and he was put into prison. But when he was thirty years old, Joseph was set free from both prison and slavery, and Pharaoh appointed him the second ruler of Egypt!

Twice Joseph's brothers came to Egypt for food, and Joseph used their visits to work on their hearts and bring them to repentance.

He revealed himself to them, forgave them, and told them to bring Jacob and all their families to Egypt, where he would care for them.

When Jacob died seventeen years later, the brothers feared that Joseph might punish them, but Joseph assured them that all that had happened was from the Lord.

In the years that followed, God used Joseph to rescue the Hebrew people from extinction.

If you were Joseph, how would you describe God when everything was going wrong? Put yourself in his situation. You've been sold as a slave by your own family, you've been accused of a crime you didn't commit, you've been in prison for years; How would you describe God?

Would you say God had a good reputation or a bad reputation? What are your beliefs and opinions about God if you were Joseph?

Joseph had every reason to have a bad opinion about God. It would be very tempting to blame God for all the bad things that happened to him.

You and I have gone through difficult situations in life. No person is exempt from hardship. If you think God has a bad reputation, you might be tempted to blame Him.

When life is at its worst, when you're at the rock bottom place of despair where you can't see the light because of the great darkness that surrounds you, that is where you find out what you really believe about God.

Will you say like Joseph, what was meant for evil, God turned for good? If you believe that God has a good reputation then you will trust Him in your hardest days. You'll know that He is working things for good.

Wait on the Lord, He will renew your strength. Don't give up. He has plans for your life.


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