Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hope In Almighty God

For about 11 weeks now, I've been joining a group called HelloMornings and I've been learning about the Abounding Hope we have in our Almighty God, through faith in Christ Jesus.

I thought I knew about the hope I had in Christ as I came to trust in Him 11 years ago. But I found out that there's more God that has in store for all those who love Him.

Joseph is one of the examples of the people who was close to God's heart and put his trust only in God with all his heart, mind and strength. Most of us know the verse Romans 8:28 (see below) and may even have memorized it. As I studied it during these last few weeks, I now can see what it really means through the story of Joseph. God always has ways to teach us when we come to seek Him, open our hearts for His teaching, and listen to His voice. He promises us that Holy Spirit will teach us the truth and give us wisdom when we ask for it with all our heart, and do not doubt. 

That's my prayer for all of us today as we learn from God's word (from Genesis 37, 39 through 50). I know that's a long reading but I'd like us all to see the whole picture of God's ultimate plan for the whole nation (Genesis 50:20) and why what is said in Romans 8:28 is true for all of us today. 
In their jealousy and anger, Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit, at first meaning to let him die there, but then pulled him up and sold him to an Egyptian slave trader. They meant to get rid of him and wished that he would die so that what he said about his dream would not happen. They meant to cause him harm. But what they didn't know is that God had planned it all along and used them to make His plan successful at the end. It was also a test for Joseph's faithfulness to God and his brothers' hearts before Him at the end.

After about 20 years, they reunited again but things had changed. They didn't recognize him as they thought he had died long ago. The reunion led Joseph's brothers to repentance, and they experienced God's grace and mercy through Joseph. After all the harm they had planned for him, he forgave them, and didn't even have any "pay-back" plan, which they feared especially after their father's death (Genesis 50:15-17).

What we can learn from Joseph:
Joseph knew the God he worshiped and trusted.
Joseph had hope in God Almighty.
Joseph never lost faith in the midst of tribulation/hard situations/tests/persecution.
Joseph lived in obedience to God and His plan only.

What we can learn from Joseph's brothers:
They were also part of God's big plan to rescue His people.
They lived in fear and condemnation of what they did for as long as they didn't confess their sins.
They confessed their sins.
They sought forgiveness from Joseph.
They received mercy and grace from God.
They were forgiven, lived free of condemnation at the end, and were blessed.

What we can learn about God:
He has a bigger, better plan than we ever know for each of us.
He is merciful and gracious to all people.
He means all things for good, while men can mean it for harm.
He is faithful and never fails us.
He provides what we need spiritually and physically.
He keeps us alive as we are today.
He saves us in order to save many people.

For 21 years I thought that my life was the worst of all, that my life was so hard and difficult, that my family would not be the one I wanted it to be. Then Jesus showed me His unconditional love and mercy, and I came to know that my life was changed forever in Christ. From the first day Jesus found me, he gave me a new heart and new hope in Him alone. Since then I have learned to lean on Him, to have hope in Him and to trust only in Him. What had happened in my past God actually turned into good and used it all to bring glory to His name alone. Before I had no idea what it was all about, but when the time came, He revealed to me what it is all about. God has worked things out in my life and made them all for good purposes. He has planned my life perfectly, more that I can imagine. It's a choice for me to follow His plan or my plan...but I choose to follow His.

I have learned that God's salvation plan is not only for one person, but is a global salvation. We are saved so that He can use us to bring His salvation to the people of the whole world. He can do it by Himself, but He wants us to be part of His big salvation plan so that the world will know him through us. That is the main reason why we do what we do and why we say, "Yes Lord, here we are... now send us to go to those people so they may come to know you and worship your Holy Name."

God has a plan for you, even in the midst of your current situations. God's plan in your life is bigger that you ever thought. He will work things out in your life for good purposes. He will work through your lives so that the world will come to know who He is.

I pray that you will find Him when you seek Him, that He will reveal to you His plan and give you wisdom to understand. I pray that God, who is working in your life, will give you the desire and power to do what pleases His heart (Philippians 2:13).

May you all have abounding hope in the Almighty God today!


Tracey Sabella said...

Helen, this is such a precious encouragement!! There are so many life lessons to learn from Joseph's examples!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

Cara G said...

I so love this message Helen...thanks for sharing your heart with us!!

Helen Gullett said...

Yes. God has planned well everything in Joseph's life and use it to teach us to live according to His ways. Blessings to you, too, Tracey.

Helen Gullett said...

You're welcome Cara. I am so thankful I am given this opportunity to share with you all.