We have recently started sharing in church about how some of our brothers and sisters grow their relationship with God. We will continue to hear from different people throughout March.
One privilege that I have as a pastor is that I get to spend extended time digging into different parts of God’s word in depth. So when it comes to my daily Bible reading I have a pattern that lets me cover lots of ground. I use the McCheyne method (google it) which takes me through four chapters a day, meaning I cover the entire Bible in a year, covering Psalms and the NT twice. I have found it a great blessing over many years.
Recently I found myself reading the stories of Job and Joseph at the same time. Joseph: sold into slavery by his brothers, false accused and then imprisoned, forgotten and neglected by those he helped. Job: handed over to intense suffering, loosing all he owned, most of his family, his status and his health. That morning when I read those chapters I couldn’t help but be struck by the fact that at this point of each story, each could have been excused in thinking that God had forgotten them, or had become their enemy. In each case, God is shown to have purposes beyond their immediate situation that brings great blessing.
At different times we might find ourselves echoing Job: “The arrows of the Almighty are in me”. Their stories are incredibly helpful. In both cases God had plans and purposes that culminated in blessing for both, just not at that time. The example of Jesus shows us that God can bring great good out of the most horrendous situations.
The Apostle Paul reassures us “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8.31-32 NIV11). In whatever situation we find ourselves, let’s hold to the promises of our absolutely trustworthy God: he has given us Christ!
Pastor | Trinity Church Brighton
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