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Providence, Trials and Blessings

Have you ever read the story of Joseph in the Bible?  He is by far one of my favorite characters, next to Jesus!   I read the trials, temptations and the issue that he goes through and amidst it all…HE PRAISES THE LORD!!  I want to be like Joseph.  All of our lives are already full of the trials, but I want to rejoice through them all!!

We have been reading through various chapters in the Bible as a family for about a year now.  However, in January our church sent out a challenge to read through the Bible together as a church.  We were excited to do this in a more systematic way, and having it follow the sermons each week was a bonus.  Genesis is pretty exciting.  A little “racy” at times, kinda reads like a modern day soap opera sometimes. (Kids close your ears on this part, or at times dad has had to do some age appropriate filtering as he has read).   Anyway, we just got to the story of Joseph this week.  AMAZING!!  Every time I read this story my resolve is strengthened and my will challenged to be more like Christ.

Genesis 50:20 What you intended for harm, God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of may lives.

Love this statement.  I wish I had more of this view everywhere I look.  I know that God is at work in all things, and sometimes we get the privilege of getting to see a bit of His plan.  However, most of the time we just walk in faith knowing that He has a plan and that it really does work out for our good, if we love the Lord.

This verse seems to resonate deeply in me in regards to Cystic Fibrosis.  I know that it is an ugly, awful disease and one that I wish were not in our lives.  However, sin is in the world and with it sickness.  I know that despite this, God has a purpose for CF in our lives.  He has allowed our family to experience the trials of this disease, and my prayer is that it is all for His glory and to bring others to Him.  I pray that we are able to praise God through it all and that when others look at our challenges, they can clearly see our dependence on GOD!

In Josephs life it is clear even at an early age that he had a strong character.  Can you imagine telling your siblings that, “Someday you will bow down to me…oh ya, and you too mom and dad?”  Yet, he did.  He must have been strong.  Then, being sold into slavery, I can only imagine  (yet sometimes CF feels like that slavery or prison).  Joseph was known by his deeds.  He worked hard at whatever he did.  Work shows a part of our character and God rewards our faithfulness.  Then when you think the story can not get worse, it does.  He goes to prison for something that he didn’t do. WHAT?  Why would God allow this?  But then, we see clearly.  Amazing providence!  God was working to perpare Joseph for a place where he could be used mightily!  Not once does the Bible mention His complaining or fretting over his circumstances.  I am sure that there were a lot of questions, and maybe even a lot of tears.  But, Joseph remained faithful.  And God blessed!!  Even in the naming of his first son, Manassah, it means God caused me to forget!  Joseph had plenty of trials and problems that I am sure he wanted to forget!  Amazing forgiveness.  I can think of little more difficult to forgive than your brothers selling you into slavery and yet, Joseph names his first born in a manner that speaks volumes of his character and heart.  That kind of heart only comes from God!!

So often people ask why does God allow this or that?  While I know that we all do it, and we somehow feel justified in asking it…we truly have no right to do.  God’s perspective is so much greater than ours will ever be.  He is infinite, holy, all knowing and all powerful.  He takes the little parts of our lives and weaves them together in a way that we may never know this side of Heaven.  There are times we get a glimpse into this amazing perplexity.  You know the times when you know that you were at just the right spot at just the right time to…or when you missed an accident because the light was red longer than normal..or whatever the “happen circumstance” may be.  I love knowing that God is ALWAYS at work!!  Even in the small things.  It gives me great hope and a purpose to be mindful, listening and watchful of what God is doing.   God is a providential God, who works in and through our trials and yes, often blesses us in ways that we could not have ever hoped or imagined.  Do you think Joseph thought the he would ever be second to the Pharaoh when he was sitting in the pit or in jail?

Today, be encouraged that whatever trial is before you, God knows and He cares!  All of us are on a journey of faith.  God often uses the trials and hardships in our lives to produce stalwart faithfulness, enduring hope and hearts that are yielded.  The question is, are we praying for eyes to see the path of God’s directing?  He will give us a persevering spirit, and joy despite the trials if we set our hearts and focus on Him ( I say this as my youngest is coughing this morning…feels like a trial “could’ be around the corner for Rachel).  This is my prayer for my life today, how about yours?  Thank the Lord for His blessings and know that God’s providence is constantly at work!


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