The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. Job 28:28.
Joseph’s checkered life was not an accident; it was ordered of Providence. But how was he enabled to make such a record of firmness of character, uprightness and wisdom? It was the result of careful training in his early years. He had consulted duty rather than inclination; and the purity and simple trust of the boy bore fruit in the deeds of the man. The most brilliant talents are of no value unless they are improved; industrious habits and force of character must be gained by cultivation. A high moral character and fine mental qualities are not the result of accident. God gives opportunities; success depends upon the use made of them. The openings of Providence must be quickly discerned and eagerly seized upon.
Not to the people of Egypt alone, but to all the nations connected with that powerful kingdom, God manifested Himself through Joseph. He desired to make him a light bearer to all peoples, and He placed him next the throne of the world’s greatest empire, that the heavenly illumination might extend far and near.
There are few who realize the influence of the little things of life upon the development of character. Nothing with which we have to do is really small. The varied circumstances that we meet day by day are designed to test our faithfulness and to qualify us for greater trusts. By adherence to principle in the transactions of ordinary life, the mind becomes accustomed to hold the claims of duty above those of pleasure and inclination. Minds thus disciplined are not wavering between right and wrong, like the reed trembling in the wind; they are loyal to duty because they have trained themselves to habits of fidelity and truth. By faithfulness in that which is least they acquire strength to be faithful in greater matters. An upright character is of greater worth than the gold of Ophir. Without it none can rise to an honorable eminence. But character is not inherited. It cannot be bought. Moral excellence and fine mental qualities are not the result of accident. The most precious gifts are of no value unless they are improved.
Conflict and Courage p. 78
—–Please pray for Brian’s mother who had a heart attack and blood clots in her lung as well as elevated blood sugar. Pray that God will give him the right words to minister to her spiritually and health-wise. Rose
—– My mom is sadly not doing well. Her cancer came back after receiving Chemo for a while. They say she has about six to 9 month maybe to live. My Brother, and her moved back up to _____ after selling the house in _____. They are living with my Younger brother Steve and his wife in their five bedroom house. She 80 years old. Pray for her that she finally give her life to Jesus. She not a Christian. Pray also for my brother next week as his friend, and him go back down to _____ to clear out the house for the family to that brought the house can move in. Pray for them to have a safe trip down there, and back home to ______. Ray
——Eileen has a doctor’s appointment Monday morning with a neurologist for possible surgery on her back. Please pray that he will see the problem and that she will get the help she needs. Rose
Since we have lived so many places, we have met many different types of people. One particular woman that went to a particular church we attended many years ago seemed to believe that it was evil to laugh or even to smile. Anyone who had a joyous look upon their face received a frown from her. Everyone avoided her.
This poor woman was confused between the joking and jesting Paul speaks against and the joy and happiness that is an outward sign of a heart that is at peace with God. Paul admonishes us, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.” Eph 5:4
The disciples were not gloomy men, they were joyful, despite the beatings and imprisonments that they received. “And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” Acts 5:41 “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” Acts 16:23-25 Jesus had told them to rejoice when persecuted, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matt 5:11,12 Peter explains, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” 1 Peter 3:14-17
Yet there is a time to be mournful: there is a reason to weep. Paul advises, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil 2:12 Each day we should make sure our heart is right with God. This should be done with all earnestness. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10 “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” 2 Cor 7:10 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:8-10 Only then we can have true happiness, a happiness born from a heart right with God. Only then we can have true joy, a joy the wells up from within us because we have the assurance of Jesus’ smile, of Jesus’ presence always with us. Only then can we have true peace of mind. Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Let us come to Jesus with the repentance that only He can give. Let us accept that peace and joy that He so freely offers. Let us rejoice in His great gift of salvation each day.
All in God’s Plan