My husband Ray continues to preach at our church on Sunday mornings as our minister continues his struggle with cancer. Ray’s message yesterday morning inspired me to share these thoughts with you today.
Things looked bleak when Joseph’s brothers left him in a pit and bleaker still when they sold him to Ishmaelite traders.
But God used those events as steps toward Joseph becoming second in command in Egypt, one of the ancient world’s premier civilizations.
Things looked bleak when Jochebed put her baby boy in a basket and hid him in the reeds of the Nile River after Pharaoh told the Israelites to kill their baby boys.
But God sent Pharaoh’s daughter to find Moses and save his life. Moses grew up to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery.
Things looked wonderful when Jesus came into the world as a baby, . . .
. . . but they looked bleak when He hung dying on the cross.
But God raised Jesus from the dead and:
He became to all those who obey Him
the source of eternal salvation.
During the Christmas holidays, our personal or family struggles can seem even bleaker than usual. Sometimes it feels as though all the world is celebrating with joy while we are in despair about some issue.
This Christmas remember that God:
- who used Ishmaelites slave traders to bring Joseph to Egypt and
- who used Pharaoh’s daughter to save Jochebed’s baby boy and
- who sent Jesus to earth as a baby and
- who raised Jesus from the dead . . .
. . . is the same God who hears your prayers.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Now to Him who is able to do
far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus to all generations
forever and ever. Amen.