01/15/16 Perspective

READING: Genesis 43-45

It’s so easy to blame God when life is difficult. We strive to follow Him, but still the bottom drops out beneath us sometimes. Life simply doesn’t seem right, especially when we really are unfairly treated. 

One of our difficulties is that we try to evaluate the purpose of difficulties when we’re in the midst of them. We look for answers, but even the proposed answers don’t always alleviate the pain or reduce the anger. The struggle continues. Our questions remain. Faith becomes a battle. 

That’s when we must go back to the Word of God. In today’s reading, we eavesdrop on a conversation between Joseph and his brothers who had sold him into slavery decades before. His brothers were terrified when Joseph revealed himself to them —and why not? After all, the brother they sold was now in the leadership of Egypt. He could have responded to them however he wished, including getting revenge on them. 

He didn’t go there, though. In fact, he so wisely recognized God’s sovereign hand over the whole affair that he emphasized God’s role three times when he talked to his brothers:

Gen. 45:5-8  And now don’t be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. . . .  God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God.

With decades of perspective, Joseph could look at his situation clearly. Yes, his brothers had treated him unfairly, but God had a greater purpose in mind. When you and I don’t have that kind of perspective because our pain and struggle are very present tense, the divinely-inspired scriptures give us the perspective we need: God’s.  

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps today:

  • If you’re in the midst of a struggle, read Joseph’s story again and again. Let its truth sink in. God had a purpose.
  • Prayerfully ask God to give you His perspective in any difficult situation.  
  • Maybe you need to forgive someone today as Joseph did his brothers. Find the hand of God in your situation, and forgive the one(s) who hurt you. 

PRAYER: “Lord, thank You that You see everything. Remind me that You have a plan, and You will use even our toughest times for Your glory.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Genesis 46-47






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