“But God was with him (Joseph). And DELIVERED HIM OUT OF ALL OF HIS AFFLICTIONS, and gave him favour and wisdom … there was a great dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanann, and great affliction … But when Jacob heard that there was corn (grain) in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first …” (Acts 7:9-12).
Great thoughts, and good reminders, while reading in Acts this morning. Especially, while reading Stephen’s sermon in Acts chapter 7. Actually, it was more of a history lesson. He knew his history that’s for sure. Unfortunately, it resulted in his being stoned! Two of the many truths and thoughts that God spoke to me about this morning were found in the above passage. Good stuff!!
First of all, God did deliver Joseph from his many afflictions, but he was delivered on a God’s timetable, not Joseph’s timetable. And he was not always delivered exactly how Joseph would have chosen to be delivered.
Why was this?
Because God had a different destination and destiny in mind for Joseph. One that would benefit not only him and his family, but millions of others!
Oh, by the way, Joseph also gleaned wisdom and favour in the eyes of others, including the Pharaoh, as a result of those very afflictions!
We might be going through a time of affliction, a time of suffering. We might not understand why we are going through it. We might not understand what God is doing. Yet, we can rest assured that God knows what we are going through and it will result in His glory, our good, and more than likely the good of others [Job 23:10-12; 1 Peter 1:7; Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 4:7-18]
In the midst of our afflictions, we must STAY FAITHFUL!
Secondly, just as in the days of Joseph, there is a great spiritual dearth or famine in our world today, and much affliction. I am presently in Southeast Asia. This morning, I am in a “Restricted” or “Creative Access” nation. My wife and I spent 17 months serving here. The past 20 months, my wife and I have served in Cambodia. Both of these countries have a “Christian” population of less than 2 percent. Both spiritually and physically, the need is great and we have what they need!
Just as God strategically placed Joseph in the RIGHT PLACE at the RIGHT TIME to become a source of BLESSING and DELIVERANCE, so it is with us, the people of God today!
The question is, do we have “the goods” that will cause the people to see, hear, come, and be delivered? And, are we willing to “share” what we have? Or will we hoard it for ourselves? And, will we learn from Stephen’s history lesson?
Just reflecting on Stephen’s history lessons!!!