My husband and I are reading together, The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances by Alistair Begg. Pastor Begg walks us through Joseph’s Biblical account and reminds us of God’s providential care in our lives.
It will remind you as God’s precious child; He is continuing to work all things for your good and His glory.
Don’t Miss the Chance to Help Others:
(Excerpt is taken from pages 113-114)
Here’s a fourth and final way we need to respond to unjust suffering: By God’s grace, we can turn it into an opportunity to help others.
We read in Genesis 40:6-7 that Joseph took that opportunity when he saw that Pharaoh’s two officials were dejected. Joseph could have said to himself, Look, I’ve got my own problems. I’m the one who should be dejected. Forget these guys. But the reason Joseph noticed these men were downcast is because he was looking. His head wasn’t drooped so low by his own grief that he couldn’t see the needs of others.
I once read about a seminary professor who went into a depression so deep that he didn’t care about anyone or anything. Everything seemed hopeless. Then one day, a visiting friend urged him to think of people who had been of major help to him and, from that list, to select one person to whom to write a letter expressing his gratitude.
The man thought about it for some time, and into his mind’s eye came the face of a schoolteacher he had when he was a small boy. This teacher had instilled in him a love of literature, and he was grateful, so he decided to write her a letter telling her how she had inspired him.
He received a reply in the shaky handwriting of the elderly woman. The note said, “Dear William: When I read your letter, I was blinded with tears, for I remember you as a little fellow in my class. You have warmed my old heart. I taught school for fifty years. Yours is the first letter of thanks I have received from a student, and I shall cherish it until I die.”
With that letter, a little sliver of light came into the dungeon of this professor’s life. He was encouraged to write another thank-you note to a significant person in his life, and then another, and another, until he had written five hundred notes of gratitude and was no longer in the depression.
Are you in a dungeon at the moment? Are circumstances closing you down that are known only to you and to God? Turn your gaze outward toward others, and you will see those who need your help. Instead of quitting or trying to fight your way out from under unjust suffering, consider Jesus. Hang in there, and keep running the race (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Now, we may be tempted to say, “If I’m going to have to take these elbows in the ribs and kicks in the shins, I don’t want to be in this race.” But then we look at Christ, and our mouths are closed. We see Jesus on the cross and hear Him say, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). We consider the roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11, of those who endured so much—and we keep on running.