When Joseph was "farther along" he was able look back on his life through the purposes of God, therefore he was able to speak words of peace, of forgiveness, and of encouragement to his brothers who had hated him, had rejected him and left him to die. Consider the marvelous words of grace that came out his forgiving and giving heart as brothers came to him in fear and cowered before him..........
Genesis 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
This is a continuation of last week's message which was about how in the acknowledgement of our weakness, we are made strong in His power. Through the eyes of Joseph we will see how he responded to the changing circumstances of his life as he was being tried, shaped and prepared for the purposes of God. May this message help us in the times when God seems silent as He works His will, shaping us and forming Himself in us so that He might work through us.
Joseph experienced the Presence of the Lord in his changed circumstances Genesis 39:2, 39:21
Joseph, though mistreated, rejected, falsely accused and forgotten, trusted in God in the midst of his changing circumstances.
Joseph resisted the temptation to live for his own desires. Genesis 39:9
Joseph at some point recognized that out of his difficult circumstances God had been working to preserve life. Genesis 50:20-21
Joseph received his brothers with a forgiving heart. Genesis 50:20
Joseph demonstrated his forgiving heart with actions of love and caring for his brothers and their families. Genesis 50:21
Knowing, understanding and experiencing some of the above, how might we practically by faith live in the midst of our changing/changed circumstances?
- Reaffirm our position in Christ
- Ask God to remove the adversity from our life.
- Reaffirm the promise of God’s sustaining grace
- Thank God for the unique opportunity to grow spiritually
- Receive adversity as if it were from God.
- Read and meditate on Scriptures describing the adversities of God’s servants.