Genesis 39:20-21 God Is With You

Lady confined

Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. Genesis 39:20-21

At times, life can be appear to be very unfair and toss a person into a very negative, harsh situation. Things appear to go very wrong and that God has abandoned the person.

People have been fired from a job, even though one had been a hard worker, faithful and never did anything wrong. This can happen off of the words of a few people who are not telling the full truth of a situation.

Time and again people come down with a sickness that has a death sentence on it. This happens even though one has always lived a healthy life.

These types of events in people’s lives occur whether a person is a believer or not. For the believer as events like this occur, it may feel as though God has abandoned the person. It can feel as if God has thrown the person out and locked the door on him.

Joseph had lived his life following God, yet, he was thrown into slavery by his brothers. As a slave, he did everything he was told to do. Yet, he was falsely accused of doing something wrong and was thrown into prison. It may have felt as though God had abandoned him, yet God was still there in the dark prison cells. God gave him supernatural favor, because Joseph still followed Him and believed in Him.

Although most believers will not be thrown into prison today, there will be times of hardship. There will be times that they will be treated wrongly. It is even in those times that God is still with the person. God can provide supernatural favor to the believer in the tough time, making it better than it should be.

You may be going through a hardship that does not seem fair. You may be feeling as if God has abandoned you or forgotten you. Do not be discouraged. Keep looking to God. He can be with you through the situation.

Just as God gave favor to Joseph, He can give you favor during the prison time of bad situations. God is using you to build you and others up. In the end you will have favor that the world does not know.

I pray today that you will know the love and favor of God in your life; that you will trust God during tough times; that you will allow yourself to be used by God; and that you will be a light in the dark prisons of life. 

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Daniel 1:8 Choosing To Not Be Defiled

But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel 1:8

When King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had taken over Jerusalem and all Judah, he carried many people into captivity. Out of these people, he chose some who were the best and brightest to work for him. They were brought into the palace courts to work and given the best food and drink, along with all other needed provisions. Daniel was among those given that favor.

The food being provided was food that the Israelites were not supposed to eat according to God’s law. Daniel set it in his heart that he would not defile his body with the food being offered. Regardless of what may happen, he refused to eat that food. He asked the officials to not eat it. He was given favor, because God was on his side.

In this world there are many things that are out there that can defile a believer. No matter what store or location a person walks into things are available to cause one to sin. Pictures, thoughts, and actions are everywhere being done that are filled with sin and can lead a believer down the wrong path. Even other people can lead a person wrong.

As a believer, you must make a commitment to the Lord prior to walking into any place. You must commit to not allowing yourself to be led into sin. You have to choose not to walk down certain paths that the world offers.

In the process of doing this, there will be many times that you will go against the flow of society, even some in the church. Some may be doing it in good will, not meaning to harm you, but still be against God’s ways. It may also be painful. As with Daniel choosing not to eat certain foods, it runs the risk of creating severe pain and suffering. God is with you, and if you choose to follow Him and His ways, He will take care of you.

Before you walk out of your house today, or even your bedroom, resolve in your heart to not allow yourself to be defiled by sin. Refuse to walk down that path as you walk in this world.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will choose to follow God alone; that you will choose to not walk in sin against God; and that you will not allow yourself to be defiled by this world.

Jeremiah 42:6 Favorable Or Unfavorable Message

“Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God.” Jeremiah 42:6

Once Israel was in exile in Babylon, some of the people came to Jeremiah to find out what God wanted. They asked Jeremiah to inquire of God what His desire was. They then stated that regardless if the message was favorable or unfavorable, they would obey Him. Many realized that they were in exile because they had not obeyed God, and now they needed to obey. It would not matter if the message was one of pain or not.

God’s message to them was that the Israelites had to choose to obey and serve the king of Babylon. It was not up for option. The message was one of humility, because they were the chosen nation, who were supposed to be the leaders, not the followers. 

Getting news from someone is not always what a person really wants to hear. People go to the doctor about some pain that they are feeling, hoping the doctor can cure them. There are times that the doctor can give the favorable news that it is something minor and easily fixed. Other times the news might be that it is unfavorable saying that the person must change his way of living in a major way, giving up a lot of what the person had enjoyed, just to stay healthy. Either way, the person must obey the doctor in order to be cured.

God works in the same way as the doctor. There will be many times when you have to go to God for some guidance in your life. As you present your situation to God, He will give you His answer. That answer may be easy to follow, or it may mean major changes in your life.

When God speaks into your life, you must be willing to follow His word. It does not matter if it looks favorable or unfavorable, it is what is best for your life. God will never hand you anything that is not for your benefit in the long run.

Are you willing to obey God, even when it does not look or sound good?

I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will obey God no matter what He tells you to do; that you will listen for when God speaks; and that you will live your life for God.

 

 

Isaiah 60:1-2 Shine Bright In The Light

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Isaiah 60:1-2

Israel had walked away from God, so they were cast into captivity. However, after a set time, God brought them back out of captivity. In this passage God is pointing out to them that their light has come. God had begun to show favor to them. The rest of the world was still in the dark, but Israel could see the light.

Along with being brought back out of captivity, this passage is also looking forward to the time of Jesus. When Jesus came into the world, He was called the light of the world and He called Himself the light.

Although nearly two thousand years have passed since Jesus walked on this earth, things have not really changed at all. The world is still living, as a whole, in darkness. People live as though there is no God, and as there is no hope. All over the world people are committing suicide all the time, because they have lost all hope. They feel as though there is nothing to live for.

If you are believing in and following Jesus, you have a hope that the world does not have. Though they do not have that hope, they can see it in you. You are a shining light in this world.

You shine because you are different. You have a love and a joy that is different. Being different is what makes a person stand out. It is what the world wants, but does not have or know how to get it. The world seeks those things in temporary, worthless things, rather than in Jesus.

As this world lives in darkness and despair, you live in the light and glory of God. God’s favor is on you, even while going through extremely difficult situations in life. As you go through those situations with a hope, the world will see it and desire it.

Are you willing to let the world know what this hope it?

Are you willing to let the light of God shine through you to everyone around you?

I pray today that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that you will know God’s glory in your life; that you will shine with the light of Jesus in this world; and that you will be a witness to everyone of who Jesus is.

Isaiah 30:19 God Is Quick To Hear And Answer

People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Isaiah 30:19

Just before this verse, Isaiah spoke of the destruction of Jerusalem. It would be so terrible that he states that one enemy would make a thousand flee, and just five enemy would make them all flee. The would happen because of the terror that they would feel. All of the destruction would occur because of the sin of turning away from God, rejecting God.

The great thing is that as soon as they would call out to God, He would hear them and answer them. Despite how angry God was with their sin, He was even more gracious and willing to forgive when they cried out to Him.

Many believers have made choices in their life that have pulled them away from God. God has chosen to life His hand of blessing from their lives because of continued sin in their lives.

Most believers are not unaware of what is occurring. They realize that they have strayed from God’s plans for their life and are paying a price for it. They feel as if they can make it without God’s direct guidance and help. That works until God’s hand of favor is lifted and things continue to go wrong.

Many will feel that because of their sin, they can no longer cry out to God. They feel He will no longer hear them because they have strayed so far from Him. You may be one of those in that position right now. You feel as if you cannot call out to God any more, that God will no longer listen to you.

Yet, as soon as you cry out to God, He will hear you. God is perfect love and is very gracious and always willing to forgive.

It is up to you to turn back to Him and seek forgiveness. God cannot extend His forgiveness and favor, unless you call out to Him. He will not force anything on you, you must want it.

Turn back to God today and cry out to Him. Seek His forgiveness in anything you may have done wrong. Then know His great love and mercy that He has for you. He is waiting and listening for you today.

I pray today that you will always seek God in your life; that you will turn from all sin to God; that you will continually cry out to God for help; and that you will know God’s love and forgiveness.

Romans 12:14 Blessing The Persecutors

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” Romans 12:14

During the time that Paul writes this letter, there was a lot of persecution going on. Christians were being attacked by many and had no personal rights in their country. For a time Paul had been one of those persecuting the Christian believers. The people were going through a hard time. It was easy for someone to curse those who were doing the persecuting, yet, Paul says to bless them.

Persecution can show up in many different forms. Most people think of it as just physical abuse against another person. It is also verbal abuse, refusal to recognize, shunning, overlooking, talking bad about, ridicule and rejection. In the USA these types of abuse are more common than the physical abuse.

The common thread of all types of persecution is the pain. There is pain in the physical, as well as the emotional. A person is hurt in the process.

It is very common for a person to attack those who do any persecution on them. They fight back with violence or bad words. Many will curse the person. One thing in common is that there is no love for those who did the persecution.

Blessing a person is asking God to give them favor and what they need. It is bringing the person something they need or helping to meet a need they have. It is talking good about the persecutor despite all the bad that they are doing. It is forgiving them, even when they have not requested forgiveness or repented of the wrongs done.

Jesus had loved you when you were against Him. When you persecuted Him, He still loved you. As a believer you are to show that same love to others. Do not take revenge or fight back at person. Bless the one who is doing wrong to you.

This blessing will show them the true love of Jesus. It may or may not diffuse their abuse, but it will be a testimony to them of God’s love and power.

Cursing a person does you no good. It only fuels the anger and hurt. You are told to not go to bed angry. Bless them and the anger must leave. You cannot be angry and bless a person.

Who are willing to bless today? Who do you need to bless today?

I pray today that God will reveal His blessings to you; that God will reveal His love for all those who do wrong; that you will be filled with God’s love for those against you; that God will strengthen you to bless those who persecute you; and that you will not curse anyone.

God’s Provision

If you have read some of my past Experience posts, you will know that in July of last year I was laid off from a very good job. Shortly afterwards I had a friend show me doors to getting into being a teacher. I have been told many times I should be a teacher. The first step was becoming a substitute teacher.

I was immediately able to get in to being a substitute teacher in the district. I was able to keep a job nearly everyday subbing at different schools and all grades. It was a lot of fun, most of the time, and gave me many opportunities to reach out to different children.

The difficult part was that there were no benefits of any sort (mainly insurance) and the pay was very low. I do not mind working for lower pay, but I have a very large family (8 children). Along with that, during holidays, and breaks, there was no work or pay.

I looked into the Workforce Center to search for other jobs. They offered training to get a better job. One area I thought about was in truck driving. I currently have a Class A CDL. Most of the trucking jobs required a special endorsement that I did not have. The Workforce Center was willing to pay for the training to get that endorsement.

The one catch in getting that training was that I would have to be willing to accept any job that became available that needed that endorsement.

When I was laid off, I felt that I needed to put some requirements out for the next job that I accepted. They were: no Sunday work, no night work, and not being gone for days at a time. This was to allow me to be home more with my family and to be in church to worship with my family. With my last job, for three years I was gone a lot, and the second three years I missed most Sundays and worked many nights. It cost me my health and family time.

I started looking closely at the trucking jobs available. Most still required Sunday or night work at a minimum. Others also required being gone for days at a time. With much prayer I felt that this was not the route I was to take.

I chose to turn down the offer by the Workforce Center, although I was nervous, because I could not see how I could still provide for my family.

Two days after turning it down, one of the local schools called me. They wanted to know if I would be willing to be their permanent sub for the whole school. This means that I just go to work for that school alone everyday.

This was at a middle school that I like best of all the schools in the district (around 20). I am working on becoming a middle school teacher. This job also gave a significant pay increase, and gave full benefits, and was permanent full time hire.

I am now in that position. Many teachers have told me that this type of hiring was unheard of. Very few first year subs get picked up for full time hire. God has given me His favor.

God opened the door once I let the other doors go shut. I had to trust that God was guiding my steps. I had to let go of the reigns and let God take them up. God answered my prayers and desires.

I want to encourage you to walk in the path God has for you. Know that God will not guide you wrong. Know that God will provide for your needs. God will give you the desires of your heart if your desires line up with His desires. May God bless you, keep you and guide you daily.