Joseph’s Coat

Rubel Shelly once said that Joseph was the Forrest Gump of the Old Testament.  I’m still not sure if I agree with that characterization, but I have to admit that Joseph certainly knew how to “roll with the punches.”  I don’t know if Joseph’s intellect was childlike, as was Forrest Gump’s.  However, Joseph had a childlike faith in God that trusted in spite of terrible circumstances.  
The Chinese proverb I used this morning was one I’d heard 30 years ago.  It stuck with me all these years.  A simple story with a deep meaning. How often the things we think are good turn out to be bad and visa-versa?  But good or bad God has promised to use the events of our lives to accomplish his purposes . . . . if we have faith.  Sometimes, like Joseph, we are allowed to see and understand what God has done.  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”  (Genesis 50:20).  Often, however, we never fully understand what God is up too.  Consider this quote from a New Testament letter, “All these people were still living by faith when they died.  They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13).

Our job is not to accomplish great things for God (as if we could actually do that).  Our job is to live by faith: Believing God’s promises, Trusting God’s provisions, Obeying God’s commands.  That kind of faith unites our lower story with God’s upper story.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

One Response to “Joseph’s Coat”

  1. avatar Tommy says:

    Joesph’s story is awe-some! Very inspiring when comparing his life to our own, especially in the face of life’s many obstacles. No doubt Joseph shed some tears in that pit, who wouldn’t in the face of betrayal of their own kin, but he overcame everything life and sin had to throw at him with positive child-like exuberance. Is this what Christ meant when he said to be childlike? Maybe, being positive and optimistic in the face of calamity doesn’t sound all that bad..difficult sure, but it sounds nice and feels good; having the kind of faith to withstand pessimism, hatred, shame, guilt, etc cannot be a faith we ourselves build, but a faith built in relationship with God and through God. Basically, God provides the means of great faith, we just have to be willing to accept a life built upon a faith in Him, as a child accepts (without question) the love of their parents.

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