Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
Suffering (Part 29)
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him...
They plotted to kill him. 'Here comes that dreamer!' they said to each other. 'Come now, let's kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we'll see what comes of his dreams.'
Genesis 37:3-4,18-20 (NIV)
Most of God's heroes suffered injustice. Big destinies evoke big reactions, because changing the world for the good means pushing through evil plans for the bad. Because Satan will fight God's future stars, hurling dart after dart of injustice. Please note: God allows these unfair attacks.
Why? To test and temper His children's courage. To grow strength, fortitude and character. To turn them into seasoned warriors. Within 'The furnace of affliction' (Isaiah 48:10), Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego rose to indisputable prominence.
But preceding them on affliction's stage was Joseph: trapped and sold at seventeen to endure thirteen hard years as a slave. This dreamer, who was favored by Jacob, would come to understand why he suffered. He explained to his repentant brothers:
'You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives' (Genesis 50:20).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider three thoughts on injustice:
1) The Lord's biggest stars waited it out. They neither complained nor sought vengeance. They trusted the Lord to right their wrongs, which He clearly promises to do. The length and place of Joseph's trials were preordained for a great purpose. Joseph's faith and patience changed the world.
2) Most Americans complain nonstop about everything that's going wrong. We don't want to wait on anything, including the Lord's perfect timing. As victims, we argue for ourselves like defendants without attorneys. But can we match the defense of God? Or reap the same rewards He can give?
3) Defending others is different. As the Lord's ambassadors of truth, you should speak out against injustice and help those who are harmed at all costs. Your rising as stars in media gives you a platform to plead their cause. But pray to the Lord before you speak and make sure your words are said in love.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.