Comfort Concerning Trials

For those who need comfort and encouragement, remember Isaiah 51:12. God says, “I, even I, am He who comforts you.” And then read what Jesus says in John 16:33… “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Yes, it is a very fallen world. But we have a Savior! That’s why those who have come into His love and mercy want to share this Good News with others.

Have you recently read the story of Joseph? It is such a sweet story and there’s so much I learn every time I read it. Genesis, chapters 37-47 mostly, but also through 50. It’s a story of betrayal, deception, and heartache, but also one of forgiveness. I especially like verses such as 45:4,5,8 –“I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you… So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.”

Look at how afraid Joseph’s brothers were even years later. “When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?’ So they sent word to Joseph, saying, ‘…Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.’ When their message came to him, Joseph wept… Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.'” (50:15-20)

When trials come our way, they strengthen us, teach us, soften us to be more loving and patient. Therefore, much good comes. When people harm us, we can forgive them, knowing that God promises to work ALL things out for good. (Rom. 8:28) We want their best also, and pray for them to get right with God.

Joseph understood this godly attitude. What his brothers did was exceptionally evil in selling their own brother into slavery. And look at how they all mocked him prior to that. Gen. 37:8 –“His brothers said to him, ‘Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?’ And they hated him all the more…” Then in verse 10, even his father rebuked him. But compare all those insults with 45:3 when they stood before Joseph, now the prime minister of Egypt –“But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.”

See? The Lord has full capability to turn anything around. Our job is to stay faithful, obedient, trusting, listening, and close to Him. We will definitely be vindicated and honored. And if not in this life, then why should that matter? This life is one speck compared to all eternity. Either way, we are promised that in eternity, those who have held out the Word of Life and have led many to righteousness will “shine like stars in the universe” for ever and ever. (See Phil. 2:15,16 & Dan. 12:3) That’s the honor we seek; but really, that too is only so that we may forever honor and glorify HIM.

So cheer up! Our trials are for the eternal good of many!



~ by smilesback on September 5, 2009.

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