I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
In my work as a Bible Instructor, I find many people who have a chip on their shoulder, and harbor a grudge. They blame others for their own unhappiness. I do not see that with Joseph. Joseph takes control of his own happiness. Once reunited with his brothers who sold him into Egypt he tells them, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years [hath] the famine [been] in the land: and yet [there are] five years, in the which [there shall] neither [be] earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “Genesis 45:5-7
Did you catch that? God sent me here not you! Seriously, we give people too much credit sometimes. People cannot control our lives and emotions. God can!
While writing to the Ephesians from a Roman prison, Paul calls himself “the prisoner of the Lord.” Ephesians 4:1 Paul would not call himself a prisoner of Rome. Paul was not about to give mere mortal man the credit for a master plan that only a God of infinite wisdom could come up with. Neither Joseph or Paul, would credit mere mortals with the power to control their lives. Both Joseph and Paul were exactly where they needed to be when God needed them to be there. What more could you ask for?
Even in prison Joseph and Paul both knew God had a wonderful plan for them that man could not detour.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
God had a purpose for Joseph. Everything worked out for him to deliver many from the famine. For Paul, he was able to write much of the New Testament while in prison. If he had been free to speak face to face back then, he would not have needed to write the letters that have been preserved to inspire us today.
You too are destined for God’s grace! “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. “ Ephesians 1:5-6
If you are in the Tampa Bay area, I would like to invite you to experience this grace at the Tampa First Seventh-day Adventist Church. If you are not in the area, you can find a grace filled church in your corner of the world by clicking here.