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1st February 2023


Stay the course, Finish well

Joseph developed his trust in God to a very high level.  The level of total trust.
This was done in the midst of severe hardship, prolonged suffering & repeated disappointments.
Amazingly Joseph gave up trying to make things happen for himself. He became content to fully trust & depend on the Lord.
Joseph had repeatedly experienced that people would let him down but he came to undoubtingly know that God never would.
I want to think about that a little more today.


Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,
in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.”
And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:19-21


Joseph learnt to let God be God (verse 19 above) despite the injustices & suffering that accompanied him from age 17 to 30.
Thirteen long, hard years where he could have allowed his heart to become polluted against God & against people.
This did not happen because Joseph kept his heart close to, & pliable before, the Lord.
As we will see tomorrow he learnt the power & freedom of forgiveness.
To receive it & release it so that his heart remained free from bitterness, blame & regret.
We must learn to allow the Lord to do things His way & at His right time.

Joseph also learnt the power of Godly perspective.
He allowed his suffering to forge & strengthen godly character rather than destroy it!! SELAH.
Joseph learnt to trust a person, the Lord, & to follow the paths & process that God brought his way.
Incredibly, Joseph never lost sight of the goodness of God & that God was ever working for his good (verse 20 above).
Because he had gained perspective on his past Joseph came to the place where he trusted his present & future to the One he knew.
He just kept using his gifts to serve (both God & others) & God kept prospering & promoting him.
God’s favour & advancement came in Potiphar’s house, then prison & eventually the palace.
If we are faithful in the little things we can be entrusted with more, & more, & more again (Matthew 25:21-23).
At, & in, God’s perfect timing he can bring divine acceleration & advancement.

Joseph also never lost sight of his purpose under God. He kept serving faithfully through his God-given gifts.
Joseph did not seek out the precise fine detail of any future plan but instead was prepared to tread the Lord’s path for today.
This meant that he was always ready & prepared to be used by God.
He kept working out his purpose daily so he remained on the right path to fulfil the Lord’s future plan.
He leaned not on his own understanding but fully trusted the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Acknowledging God in all his ways was the tough lesson Joseph was learning. Life was the tutor.
He learnt to do that operating in his gifts & he learnt to see that in everything that happened to him.
Joseph’s heart led him even when, & to places where, his head could not understand.
Daily faithfulness leads to present & future fruitfulness in God’s divine plan for any life.
Faithfulness in the little things before the utterly & unchanging Faithful One. So Good!!!

Joseph found the person of the Lord, & leaned upon Him, in the midst of life’s storms.
Because he knew the presence of the Lord in the eye of the storm, he experienced peace (Mark 4:39).
God’s presence & peace surrounded Joseph because his heart kept looking unto, & leaning into, the Lord.
When we encounter the God of peace (Romans 15:33) we will experience His peace (Philippians 4:7). His focus remained upon the Lord & so the peace remained (Isaiah 26:3-4).
Total trust came through totally leaning in & acknowledging the Lord in all things.
Seeing the good times, bad times & hard times from God’s perspective.
Will we like Joseph fully trust the hand of God at work in our lives no matter what our circumstances are?
Lean in, look up, faithfully serve, keep the faith & carry on trusting the Lord. Hallelujah!!!


For Reflection

  • Where & in what ways do I look unto & lean into the Lord?
  • How confident & content am I to trust my uncertain future unto the Lord?
  • Meditate further upon what it means to fully & totally trust the Lord – to fully let God be God.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you that Your presence & peace surround me.
Jesus thank you that You are ever at work to bring blessing into, & through, my life.
Holy Spirit help me to keep looking unto& leaning into the Lord,
Give me strength & resilience to keep focusing fully upon the Lord whatever my circumstances,
Help me always to see & fully acknowledge the hand of God at work in my life.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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