Friday, 19 August 2011
Recently, I was contacted by a man in Texas who had lost his business, home, wife, and children in the last seven years; he was unemployed and homeless. He told me that the devil wanted him to kill himself, but he knew that the devil was a liar and that he would trust Jesus to bring him through. So many precious people are in similar situations.
I have a word of encouragement today that is fresh from the Lord. It is for all who are found in seemingly hopeless situations, or may be in one tomorrow, next week, next month, next year... Please share it with those you know.
Right before he was murdered by a group of religionists who thought they were doing God a favor, Stephen told them, "But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born… (Acts 7:17-20 ESV)"
God had raised Joseph up out of a seemingly hopeless situation. His brothers were jealous of him, selling him into slavery, staging his death, and reporting back to their father the lie that Joseph was killed. Later in life, still separated from his family by this lie, Joseph would be falsely accused and imprisoned for something he did not do. God was always working in Joseph's life and situations though, and in God's timing, Joseph was freed from prison and lifted up to a high position in government where he was reunited with his father and brothers, which would prove to save their lives. Joseph's leadership in the government preserved two entire nations -- Egypt and Israel -- from sure death and destruction due to years of famine.
Stephen reminds the religious death squad he is facing of an important piece of their history that was 400 years after Joseph's life -- the birth of Moses. The current king did not know Joseph and he mistreated the ancestors of both Stephen and his persecutors, enslaving them, beating them, starving them, and using them to build comfortable cities and palaces for the Egyptian king and his race. "At this time Moses was born" -- as I read those words, the Holy Spirit quickens them to my heart. You see beloved, God was not caught off guard and without a plan to bring His people through their seemingly hopeless situation. It may not have been quick enough for them, but it was right in time -- God's timing -- and another deliver, like Joseph, was born. Moses would go on to face his own seemingly impossible situations which would include murder and bare existence on the back side of a desert for 40 years tending sheep, but in God's time he was raised up to deliver millions of people from the bonds of slavery. God was working all along.
Beloved, God is working now; He is at work in the midst of our seemingly hopeless situations. When we can not see a way out, God is preparing a way out. We don't have to see it. We are required simply to trust Him. For Stephen's ancestors, God gave Joseph and Moses. For us, God has given Jesus. Place your trust in Jesus today; fix your eyes on Him; follow Him. He will get you through this seemingly hopeless situation, the next one, and every one. There may be a dry patch along the way, or even a dusty, hot desert, and you may get tired and thirsty, but you can always count on Him to get you through. He is working on your behalf. He is never late. He is right on time -- God's timing.
Know that you are loved,
Gregory A. Johnson