The Key to Enduring Hardship

  • June 21, 2018
Thursday 21

Genesis 50:15-21

God has given us many amazing promises in His Word. Yet, though we are assured of His steadfast love (Rom. 8:38-39), provision (2 Corinthians 9:8), and guidance (Prov. 16:9), He has not promised us an easy, trouble-free life. What we can count on, however, is that the Lord will work everything—including adversity—for our good (Rom. 8:28). 

Long before Paul wrote this word of encouragement to the church at Rome, Joseph learned the same principle by experiencing its truth. His affirmation of it, however, came several years after his unfair suffering had ended. In the midst of his difficulties, it’s doubtful that he understood what God was doing in his life.

The same is true for us. When our hearts and minds are agitated because of turbulent events, it’s hard not to stare at circumstances in horror or confusion. But we must decide to believe what the Bible says about God’s character, activity, and purposes. That choice forces our attention off the storm and onto the One responsible for ushering us safely through.

In His presence, fears dwindle and doubts dissolve; peace and a sense of oneness with the Lord will take their place. Our responsibility is to keep our eyes on God and trust His Holy Spirit to provide strength, wisdom, and courage.

Turning to the Lord will not necessarily bring an end to the hardship, but He will help us see that we are exactly where He wants us. He has a reason for the discomfort and desires that we grow in Christ through it. Whatever the situation, the safest place in the world is the center of His will.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 55-59

Other Daily Content

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15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!"

16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, Your father charged before he died, saying,

17 Thus you shall say to Joseph, Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, Behold, we are your servants."

19 But Joseph said to them, Do not be afraid, for am I in God's place?

20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

21 So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.

2 Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,

3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me And in anger they bear a grudge against me.

4 My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

5 Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.

6 I said, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

7 Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah.

8 I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest."

9 Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

10 Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.

11 Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him.

13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend;

14 We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng.

15 Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.

16 As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me.

17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.

18 He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me.

19 God will hear and answer them-- Even the one who sits enthroned from of old-- Selah. With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God.

20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has violated his covenant.

21 His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

23 But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.

1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; Fighting all day long he oppresses me.

2 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me.

3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

4 In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?

5 All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil.

6 They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited to take my life.

7 Because of wickedness, cast them forth, In anger put down the peoples, O God!

8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?

9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise, In the LORD, whose word I praise,

11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?

12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings to You.

13 For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.

1 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.

2 I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.

3 He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.

4 My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows And their tongue a sharp sword.

5 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.

6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They dug a pit before me; They themselves have fallen into the midst of it. Selah.

7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!

8 Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.

9 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations.

10 For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds.

11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory be above all the earth.

1 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O gods? Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?

2 No, in heart you work unrighteousness; On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.

3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.

4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent; Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,

5 So that it does not hear the voice of charmers, Or a skillful caster of spells.

6 O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD.

7 Let them flow away like water that runs off; When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts.

8 Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, Like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun.

9 Before your pots can feel the fire of thorns He will sweep them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike.

10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11 And men will say, Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!"

1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; Set me securely on high away from those who rise up against me.

2 Deliver me from those who do iniquity And save me from men of bloodshed.

3 For behold, they have set an ambush for my life; Fierce men launch an attack against me, Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O LORD,

4 For no guilt of mine, they run and set themselves against me. Arouse Yourself to help me, and see!

5 You, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, Awake to punish all the nations; Do not be gracious to any who are treacherous in iniquity. Selah.

6 They return at evening, they howl like a dog, And go around the city.

7 Behold, they belch forth with their mouth; Swords are in their lips, For, they say, Who hears?"

8 But You, O LORD, laugh at them; You scoff at all the nations.

9 Because of his strength I will watch for You, For God is my stronghold.

10 My God in His lovingkindness will meet me; God will let me look triumphantly upon my foes.

11 Do not slay them, or my people will forget; Scatter them by Your power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

12 On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be caught in their pride, And on account of curses and lies which they utter.

13 Destroy them in wrath, destroy them that they may be no more; That men may know that God rules in Jacob To the ends of the earth. Selah.

14 They return at evening, they howl like a dog, And go around the city.

15 They wander about for food And growl if they are not satisfied.

16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.

17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.

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Publish Date July 19, 2018
Jesus: A Servant

Jesus came into the world to serve His Father and all of mankind.

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