Saturday, August 13, 2011

In a Pickle: Joseph (Long-Suffering)

Romans 5:3-4

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation woreth patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope:

In our modern society, it is difficult to digest the concept of longsuffering. When we find ourselves in a thorny situation, we often resign to our challenge and wait for the end to come. And if we do suffer, our confrontations are often short lived. How many of us have had to suffer for years . . . or most of our lives?

Joseph did. And he could have easily given in to his inevitably horrible situation. Sold by his brothers, taken to a foreign land, accused wrongly by his master's wife, put in prison--yet Joseph refused to give up. Instead, he interpreted Pharaoh's dreams, became a ruling official, and saved the lives of many during the years of famine . . . including the brothers who betrayed him.

Joseph patiently served God, making the most of his situation while exhibiting the sweetness of long-suffering. He had no way of knowing what God had in store for him in the midst of his pain. The emotions he experienced reuniting with his father and saving his family from famine gave him great joy--erasing the years of sorrow. Like Joseph, we need to rest in God's purpose and plan when faced with trials.

If a bird is flying for pleasure, it flies with the wind; but if it meets danger, it turns and faces the wind in order that it may fly higher.

Corrie ten Boom

From: Turning Points Devotional Magazine Dr. David Jeremiah

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reviving an Old Practice

I Tim. 3:14-15

These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself ...

Newsweek recently carried a story on the passing of the era of the personal letter, saying, "The decline in letter writing constitutes a cultural shift so vast that in the future, historians may divide time not between B.C. and A.D. but between the eras when people wrote letters and when they did not."1

That may be overstated, but maybe not. Historians depend on personal letters to fill in the gaps of the human story. In bygone eras, letter writing was the only way people could communicate over distance, and correspondents were often self-revealing in what they penned. They left a historical record of their life, a legacy. With the invention of Morse's telegraph that began to change; and in our age of email and text messages few people sit down long enough to write a personal note of more than a few hurried words.

Considering this vacuum, what an impact a hand-written letter of encouragement can be. Find some appropriate stationery, a good pen, and give it a try. You never know who you might encourage as you revive an age-old practice that works!

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.
Phyllis Theroux, essayist

1"The Good Word," Newsweek

From: Turning Points Devotional Magazine Dr. Davie Jeremiah