Monday: Genesis 41
Tuesday: Mark 13
Wednesday: Psalm 8
Thursday: Romans 12
Friday: Genesis 41, Mark 13, Psalm 8, Romans 12
Monday, Genesis 41
Years after being forgotten, Joseph finally has his moment. He doesn’t waste our waiting, friends. And once again, God takes hardship and uses it for good. Not just for Joseph’s good but for the good of a whole nation, and then many nations.
Joseph looks at his newly born children and names them what he knows to be true: “God made me forget my trouble” and “God made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” Oh, could we believe it? That one day in Heaven we will gaze at His face and forget all our trouble, that all of our suffering is achieving some eternal glory that we cannot yet see (2 Corinthians 4:17)?
The waiting isn’t wasted. The hardship isn’t for nothing. The presence of Jesus will outweigh any trouble.
Think of a time that God has used a season of waiting to teach you something or draw you closer to Himself.
What are you waiting on today? Can you trust Him to draw you close while you wait?
Think of a time God has used your hardship or suffering to encourage, bless, or teach others. I can testify that some of my greatest ministry has come after I have suffered in a particular way in which someone else will later need encouragement. He will make us fruitful in the land of our suffering. Can we believe it?
Tuesday, Mark 13
When we are in Christ, we need not fear the future or even the destruction that will one day come on the earth. Instead we are called to look forward to our eternity with Jesus and live each day here with great purpose, readiness to serve, and immense trust in God’s power to save us and to one day make right all the evil and suffering that we witness here on earth.
Ask yourself: What is it that you want to be doing when Jesus does come back to take us to the glorious place He has prepared for us? If you aren’t already, what’s stopping you from doing that today?
Wednesday, Psalm 8
What a beautiful song of praise to our truly majestic creator! Indeed, the day is coming when the whole earth will recognize His majesty, when every knee will bow before Him. But today, we His people are called to worship Him and sing His praises.
Choose two lines of Psalm 8 to commit to memory, and use these to worship Our Creator this week!
Thursday, Romans 12
Isn’t this what we all long for? To be able to discern and know the perfect will of God? How does Paul say we can? By keeping ourselves from the ways of the world, the noise of the world, and staying in tune with our Father. By loving one another, by holding fast to what is good. By praying continually as we wait on Him patiently. We don’t do any of these things dutifully, but rather because of His great mercies and the extravagant love He has lavished on us.
How can you let love be genuine in your own life today? Is there an act of mercy to be done with cheerfulness? Is there someone in need of hospitality? Is there an enemy you could pray for, someone you could rejoice or weep with?
The last few months have held more life-altering decisions for my family and myself than I could probably count. Some days, it has felt like we are faced with one decision after another, each with huge ramifications and consequences. Several weeks ago, when I was feeling completely overwhelmed by choices and unreasonably anxious that I might, in fact, make the wrong one, I felt the Lord prompt me with the question, “What do you want to be doing if I come back tomorrow?”
It is probably a question I should have been asking myself all along, but suddenly, I began to filter every new decision we faced through that one question. “If this was my very last day on earth, what would I want to be doing? What do I want to be doing when Jesus comes back?”
The answers were the same for me as they have been for years – I want to be loving my people well. I want to be serving the church. I want to be sharing the Gospel. I want to be a light in my community. I want to be present enough in the day I have been given that each day has, even if just for a few minutes, these things included. I want the decisions I make now to be leading myself and my family down a path of increasing service, hospitality, and love.
It didn’t make all of the decisions easier, but it gave me a lot more freedom and a lot less anxiety. As we took baby steps in one direction I would ask myself, “Is this what I want to be doing if Jesus comes back?,” and as long as the answer was still yes, we would keep moving forward. As long as this was a place where we could still love, where we could still hold fast to what is good, where we could still contribute to the needs of the church and practice hospitality, then we were still on the right path.
And as we kept making decisions and taking steps in the direction we believed God was leading us, I began to wonder – How would we live differently if we truly believed that a loving Father was overseeing every event, every hardship, every step of our lives down to the very last detail? How would we live differently if we truly believed this and we believed He was doing it with the utmost tender care and concern?
While it’s easy to type these things out, to repeat them to myself as “head knowledge,” I wonder what would look different in my life, how much less anxious I might be, how much more joy I might have if my heart truly and deeply believed these things. He is teaching me to trust these promises, and His heart, a little more each day.
Joseph acknowledges these truths through tremendous waiting and trial. Even when he is brought before Pharoah, he takes no credit for the ability to interpret dreams – “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharoah the answer he desires.” Joseph knows that God is in all the details, even the seemingly strange dreams, and God will reveal exactly what He wants Pharoah to know. God has tenderly, lovingly carried Joseph through every bit of trial and suffering to bring him to a place of favor now.
And Joseph continues to give God credit in all the details throughout the rest of the story: “God has revealed this to Pharoah,” and “Since God has shown you this…” Joseph lives the way Paul instructs us in Romans 12 – joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Could it be that the cupbearer and the baker just happened to be imprisoned with Joseph and both have dreams? Could it be Joseph just happened to be put in power over all of Egypt just before his brothers came, in need, to Egypt? No, it is far more likely that Joseph’s God, our God, was always working all the details together for Joseph’s good and for His own glory.
It’s true for you and me, too. He is in all the details, He is guiding our steps. Through the suffering and the desert places, through the places of great favor and joy and abundance. All we have to think about is living these Romans 12 lives of love and service and constant prayer.
When Jesus comes back, I want Him to find me loving my people, serving my family, my church and my community, doing acts of mercy with cheerfulness (Romans 12:8) and wholeheartedly trusting and believing that He is in every detail of my life. Whether I am in a season of suffering and waiting or in a season of immense favor, I pray my hope and trust in His promises does not waver.
Someday, like Joseph, He will make us forget our troubles. Let’s live worthy of His name until then.