By Scott T. Sharp, Pastor
First Baptist Church Nashville
Question: What Bible story/verse most helps you through the day? How does it encourage you?
The story and the verses I would choose as sources of encouragement and help in my life are found in opposites ends of scripture. The story I would choose is the story of Joseph found in Genesis and the verses are from Paul and found in Colossians. While the two might not appear to be related, there is a common thread which runs through both.
Joseph, the second youngest of twelve brothers, was the favorite son of his father Jacob, and because of this, his brothers resented him and could not stand to be around him. So when the opportunity presented itself, Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave to some Midianite traders and he was taken to Egypt. Years later when a severe famine threatened the lives of the older brothers and their families, they went to Egypt looking for food and the man in charge of the food was their brother Joseph. While Joseph knew them, they did not know him, and when they learned who he was, they were afraid he would take revenge for the way they had treated him. We read in Genesis 50 what happened: “When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, ‘Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, ‘Behold, we are your servants.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
The verses from Paul in Colossians 3 read this way: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
There have been many times in my life when people sought to do me harm in one way or another. But many of the things they meant as evil against me God used for good in my life. So when tough times come and challenges present themselves, I always remember that the God I serve has the ability to use the evil intentions of people to accomplish good things in my life. Thus, I always strive to do my best for Him because I know He has my back.
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