As I sit and write this, my car is in a city dead-end nook waiting for a moonlighting mechanic to replace vital parts so that we can have wheels again.
I had already scribbled down my thoughts of encouragement, good thoughts from God’s Word that encouraged me this week, as it was not a week on my favorite list. I can point you to Genesis and the life of Joseph, first of all.
“But as for you, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good…”(Genesis 50:20)
This statement of Joseph to his brothers who had literally sold him into slavery has continued to bless my life when times are tough. God’s covenant grace and promises are a golden thread weaving through the Old Testament to the New. He is the SAME yesterday, today, and forever! For an amazing read, check out Genesis 37-50.
We all struggle with anxiety, doubts, and ingratitude when trouble strikes.
We are never really told of Joseph’s inner battles while sitting in Pharoah’s prison for more than two years. No family or friends were nearby to comfort him, but the Bible gives us this insight: “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison…(vs. 21) …the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” (vs. 23)
Whatever comes my way, it is better than I deserve!
Really! That is hard to write and even harder to get a grip on at times. We live in a me, myself, and I era. Entitlement runs rampant — like the homeless man on my front porch who recently refused a bowl of my homemade chili or even a sandwich. He wanted ROYAL FARMS chicken or nothing at all. But what do I mean? The Bible clearly tells us our hopeless, wretched heart condition in the sight of a perfect God and Creator. If you do not know what I mean, Romans is a good place to go after reading about the fall of man in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1-3.
“There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God.” Romans 3:10 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
That is the bald, naked truth about each of us. Not good! But the God of covenant mercy and grace did not forsake us in our desperate need.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” Romans 5:6-9
I am now encouraging myself so that it is hard to stop! I want to reread all of Genesis and Romans. Our car is still sitting there broken. We were still ripped off by our local mechanic who replaced this axle in January of this year. But, we could have been in a terrible accident. We are sitting warm and well-fed in my brother’s house. Of course, I would love your prayers that this repair would go smoothly this afternoon! I hope you are encouraged today in whatever hardship you are facing. You and I, if you are a believer in Jesus, are recipients of eternal mercy so undeserved. If not, read and pray over the Bible words that I have shared. You do not want to face this life and the next one alone.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32