You Still Have Hope!

Where do you stand today? Are you feeling low and depressed? Do you think you are useless? Do you look at the people around you and wish you were one of them?

Well then, the manna for you today is Genesis 39. A perfect example of a man, out of whom no good could have come, considering his circumstances, is none other than Joseph. Could any of you think of a situation where you were to be sold by your very own family as a slave? What could be more humiliating than that? Joseph was just a young boy when this happened in his life. He was pampered and fed with a silver spoon his entire life by his father. He hadn’t worked a day in his life and in the blink of an eye all that was about to change. Being taken to a foreign land as a prisoner with no way out is no joke. Yet things worked out well for him when he found favour in Potiphar’s eyes. And just when he would’ve thought that everything was settled, here comes Potiphar’s wife and once again Joseph found himself standing at the place where he started – one with no hope.

Yet what’s wonderful behind all this tragedy is stated in Genesis 39

“But the Lord was WITH Joseph and showed him MERCY, and He gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison…

because the Lord was WITH him and WHATEVER he did, the Lord made it PROSPER.Genesis 39:21-23

In most cases, the prisoners have to endure very harsh treatment, yet Joseph had an advantage over the others and that was, that he had God’s favour, and hence he was respected by the prison-keeper. An important point to be noted is that in the midst of all his trials and tribulations Joseph faced, not once is it mentioned that he complained or grumbled against God. He knew His Heavenly Father was mightier than his problems. It is because of this perseverance and steadfastness that Joseph was honoured by Pharaoh and made the ruler of Egypt.

“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph……”there is none as discerning and wise than you.”…..Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand………So he set him over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:39-43)

The simple life of an ordinary Hebrew boy was shattered to pieces when he was turned into a slave for no fault of his own. That shattered life, when placed into the Potter’s hands was molded, refined and transformed into a life little Joseph would never even have dreamed of!

So I ask you again – where do you stand today? Do you feel like you lead a troubled life? Do you wish you were happy? Don’t have everything you desire? Are you thinking that you honoured God yet He doesn’t seem to honour you? This world has its own definition of success, happiness, joy and peace. If your definition of happiness matches that, then you are just mocking your own faith. Having a job, being smart, having the gift of speech, etc. is not what you need to have peace. Why confine yourselves to the standards of the world? So what if you have a low paid job? So what if your boss says you are useless and clumsy? So what if your English is laughed at or if you can’t fare well in your exams? Is not your Father in Heaven the controller of all these things?

 (1 Corinthians 1:27) says “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise…..”

God’s definition of wise and mighty or weak and foolish or happiness and joy are different from what’s written in your dictionary. God created you in His image. From your simplest and tiniest cell to your most complex organ system, God has designed you. Which of you when you design something from scratch would destroy it on purpose? We would care for it as the apple of our eyes. In the same way God cares for you and would never let you endure something way beyond your peak capacity. All you have to do is submit that life you think is a waste into the craftsman’s hands.

But there’s a catch!

You shouldn’t be like Peter who was walking on the water towards Jesus and faltered only when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the turbulent waters instead. Let’s stop looking at the turbulent waters in our lives. It will only make us grow weary and dull. Instead let’s look to the author and finisher of our faith.

There are billions of people in this world, yet God chose you to partake in His kingdom. Did you do anything extraordinary BEFORE you were born that God had His eye on you? Absolutely not! But you were chosen for a reason, which may seem unclear and foggy now, but will definitely unfold in time. As (Ecclesiastes 3:1) says “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven”.

This world will never be able to offer us exactly what we want. If it did, we would lose our focus on our goal. But do not get discouraged, because we are a separate group of people set out for a much greater destiny than to just accumulate wealth here. Wealth which is stated as moth and rust that will corrupt in the Bible.

So my dear brothers and sisters, next time you feel like giving up, remember Joseph, who even at the lowest point of his life blindly trusted God. From a slave-boy to the ruler of Egypt! If Joseph didn’t ask “Why”, we definitely are in no position to too.

 

Hope Against Hope

Acts 7:2-3, 5
And he said, “Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran, and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’… And God gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him.

We all know the story of Abraham. His name is synonymous with faith. He is considered by many as the father of faith. His story is that of hope and a strong faith in God in whom he believed. From the beginning of his journey, we see how God asked Abraham to do things which could be done ONLY through faith. And Abraham obeyed without questioning. Leaving his homeland into a place where he doesn’t know, asking him to believe that he would have countless descendants (when he never even had one child), asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, whom he received after years of waiting and trusting were no small tasks. However, Abraham persevered and remained steadfast. In verse 5, it says that he didn’t even have a foot space in the land to call his own. Yet God promised him the whole land.

In Romans 4:18, we read that Abraham did not lose his hope even though the situations around him seemed to be contrary to having hope. He hoped against hope. How was he able to do this? – his faith in the unchanging God.

We hear God speaking to us through different means. He may speak directly through His Word, or through prayer, through songs, through another believer or a pastor, etc. But are you willing to obey His voice? When we hear a prophecy spoken to us, we like to obey by weighing the statistics and if we feel there is a chance for the prophesy to be fulfilled, then we are ready to obey it. But God doesn’t want early preparations and settings. He wants you to be ready to obey Him no matter what. The more impossible the situation may seem, the more we need to trust in Him to bring His promises to pass.

You may have heard prophesies about you for many years but none of them may have been fulfilled. You may think that God has forgotten. But no, He doesn’t forget. If He has spoken it, it will come to pass- in His time. We need to keep trusting and just like Abraham, we need to “hope against hope” that God will never go back on His Word and if you are willing to obey Him, there is no doubt that He will bless you in ways that you never imagined. Amen!

A New Day, A New Beginning

Exodus 12:2
This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

All of us undergo times of trials and sorrows. Life is full of ups and downs. Those who put their trust in God can triumph through any problem that come their way. The Israelites too underwent hardships. For 400 years they were under the bondage of the Egyptians. But here in Exodus 12:2, we read about the promise God is giving them. He promises them that behold is the time for new beginnings. The past is over and done. Look forward to the fresh openings and ways I have in store for you.

Just as there is night and day, troubles do not last forever. Just as the sun has to set for the night to begin and the sun has to rise for the day to break forth, times of darkness are but for a short period. God promises a time for fresh beginnings and renewed hope. Praise God for new things God is going to do for you in your life!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

 

Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

 

Hope

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.