“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. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them” (Genesis 50:20-21),
Joseph is perhaps my favorite male character in the Bible. He demonstrated such faith and maintained a stellar testimony amidst adversity, And the Lord blessed him greatly for it! I read this passage in Genesis recently, and the story came alive again to me. I was so encouraged with the thoughts the Lord showed me.
Christian, if you feel discouraged, hopeless, hurt, or even angry, remember that God has a good purpose for your trials. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). I do not know what you are personally going through today, but I do know this—God is good, and He has a good purpose for everything He does. He will “bring it to pass,” for He brings all things to pass in His perfect time. And He wants “to save much people alive.” Perhaps, through this difficult time, God will use you to show God’s love toward another. Perhaps, many will open their hearts to the gospel, and revival will start. Perhaps you can rekindle your walk with the Lord and your relationship with your family. Sadly, there will be casualties along the way, as my pastor has often said. Many will reject the faith or give up in the Christian life because they let their burdens overcome them, but God wants to see more people saved and more people dedicated to serving Him. During your trying times, “fear ye not!” Do not simply react to a situation, but act upon it. Instead, do what Joseph did and focus on OTHERS:
- Nourish—Joseph said, “I will nourish you, and your little ones.” To nourish is to promote the growth of or to feed and support. Nourish your family! Make them healthy meals, let your children play outside, monitor their growth and activity level, etc. Provide them with a good home environment conducive to a balanced life—not only physically, but also spiritually. Feed them with the Word of God! Teach them Bible truths and how they can apply them to their own lives. Help them grow in the Lord and instill in them a desire to serve Him. (Also, let them get their nourishment from your church and pastor. Contrary to the philosophy of today’s world, those spiritual influences are paramount! We need church!) Moreover, try doing the same to everyone around you. Make a good meal for a church family in need. Find some way to encourage a new Christian. Encourage a growing Christian to find a place of service in your church. Really, there are so many ways in which you can nurture those whom God has placed in your life. Helping people and their little ones grow in grace is such a wonderful privilege!
- Comfort—Give strength and hope to someone today! You may be going through a difficult time right now, but remember—you are not the only one. Again, God might be using your trial to help you be a blessing to someone who may be going through the same thing. The Lord will be your strength (Exodus 15:2), and He wants you to be a source of strength for others. So, share that comfort from the Lord. Perhaps that means you ought to write an encouraging note to your pastor and pastor’s wife. Or maybe you should send an encouraging text message to your Sunday school teacher, friend, or coworker. Or maybe you need to share the gospel with that lost person (someone is coming to your mind right now). The way of salvation is the best comfort you could give any person. Remember, God wants “to save much people alive.” I believe discouragement is one of Satan’s greatest tools in causing the Christian to stumble or even pull out of his Christian race. Would it not be amazing if you could help prevent that by just breathing new life and hope into someone?
- Speak Kindly—You will never know the difference a kind word can make. You do not know what another person might be going through. Your tongue can be used to help or to hurt (Proverbs 18:21). So, be mindful of what you say and how you say it. Is it truthful? Is it necessary? Is it edifying? Be kind! And, furthermore, be consistently kind. It is one thing to say a kind word to a person one time, and it is another thing entirely to be a person characterized by kindness. My pastor is one of the best examples of a person who is truly kind. He takes time for others, never criticizes, and speaks with genuine care—all the time! He has spent decades in the ministry maintaining that reputation, always loving the people of God. Every Christian ought to have that same testimony of always being kind to others.
Though Joseph had every right to be bitter against his brothers for mistreating him, he chose to let God have His way and show great grace towards them and their families. Dear Christian, remember that God will always take care of you. He knows what you are going through and will bless you for your faithfulness (Job 23:10). Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on the needs of others. Our Savior, though He knew He would be cruelly beaten and hung on the cross, cared for others during His time on earth. He comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Undoubtedly, He had you and me on His mind as He died on Calvary. Thus, let us challenge ourselves to be more like Christ and dedicate our lives to saving and serving others!
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Having attended North Valley since the age of three, Joy was saved and brought up in this ministry. She graduated from NVBS, married Andrew Reimers in 2014, graduated from GSBC, and joined our staff full-time as an administrative assistant for the church and North Valley Publications.