Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “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. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Genesis 45:4-8 (NIV)
My life has been filled with twists and turns and ups and downs. It has felt like I have been on a roller coaster of discouragement, set-backs and disappointment. I have gone through so many difficult and trying circumstances. I have experienced heartbreak, rejection and loss. I have entered some deep and dark valleys surrounded by trouble of various kinds on every side. I have felt lost and alone. Looking back over my life I have a few things that I would like to say about all this hardship. What’s that? First, I’m sure that I am being a little melodramatic. How so? I’m not positive that I have suffered any more hardship than the next person. I’m sure that others have lived a much more difficult life than mine. There is no doubt that you experienced far more pain, suffering and rejection in your life than I have or will ever experience. That’s true. There is one thing that I now know without a doubt. What’s that? I have never really been alone. You have been with me. You have carried me through every difficulty in life. You have lifted me up. You have comforted and encouraged me. You have sustained and strengthened me. I have found the promise that you are near to the brokenhearted to be most certainly true. You have been with me in every deep and dark valley. That’s true. I have also learned another very important lesson. What’s that? You have been able to use even the darkest days and most difficult moments of my life. Nothing has gone to waste. Where I have gone, what I have done, and what I have experienced has been redeemed in one way or another for your use. You have taught me. You have trained me. You have prepared me. You have placed and positioned me for your use. Now, you can use me to accomplish your purposes and fulfill your plans. Yes, I have you right where I want you. Now, I will use you to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Will you keep on loving, following and serving me? Yes Lord, I will. That is very good.
Lord, I have been frustrated, and angry. I have faced discouragement and doubt. I have felt lost and all alone. I have wondered if I would ever be able to accomplish your purposes. I was wrong. You have had a plan. Thank you, that you are using me after all. Amen
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