I am sitting here recapping some small group notes from last night’s meeting and I am afforded the opportunity to reflect on Acts 13:52,
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52 ESV)
"We must have a correct understanding of God in order to have Joy in the face of both acceptance &
rejection. God is at work in all things and He is ultimately in control of whatever situation we find ourselves." Matt Brewer
I wonder what this must look like in a believer’s life today? I join this thought with my daily reading from this morning in Genesis 45. I am so amazed at the way God orchestrates the life of his servant Joseph. In the text we see, and are reminded that God is Sovereign over all.
 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.  And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.  And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. (Genesis 45:4-7 ESV)
Often times in the midst of extreme loss and heartache we question God about why He would allow such things to happen. I am reminded that when we have doubts in life, we must battle those doubts with the core truths of the Bible. The core truth of the sovereignty of God is echoed through this text. The reality is, Joseph had been hated by his brothers and so as an effort on their part to rid their lives of Joseph, they sold him to a traveling group of Ishmaelites. Joseph is then thrust into a situation in Potiphar’s house where he is head over all of Potiphar’s affairs. Then Potiphar’s wife accuses Joseph of a sexual advance, that did not occur, and Joseph finds himself in prison. He makes his way through the ranks, while in prison, and the next thing we find is an encounter with two men that needed dreams interpreted. As the one man, the cupbearer is returned to his position in the house of Pharaoh, some two years later Joseph is called upon to interpret one of Pharoah’s dream’s. In this instance, as Joseph stands before Pharaoh, Joseph could have credited his own power for interpretation of the dream, but Joseph declares that only the God of the Hebrew’s can interpret dreams and this HE does through Joseph. What a story, but the story doesn’t end there. Pharaoh makes Joseph second in command to only him and because of God’s wisdom and providence, Joseph is used by God to spare Joseph’s entire family. In Genesis 45, (above) we see Joseph reveal himself to his brothers and more important than that, we hear Joseph’s view of God through his circumstance.
Joseph declares that his brother’s should not be mad. That would be because Joseph is not mad and he has forgiven them all for their action of trading him as a slave some 13+ years before. Joseph recognizes that through his journey, God has sent him ahead to preserve life! Wow, what a view of God and what God’s purpose is for Joseph’s life. If you are like me, my inclination is to think, “Well that is good for Joseph.” The core biblical truth is that just as God used Joseph to spare Jacob and his brother’s, God desires to use us to preserve his remnant. God desires to do this in the lives of our families and in the lives of those that we call friends and quite frankly, in the lives of those we may not view as friends. The real question is; do we know HIM, do we recognize His plan and are we obedient to HIS plan for our lives? I am certain of this, God gets glory through those that seek no self glory and His plan is to save people and to draw people to Himself.
 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 ESV)
The question that I must ask myself is; do I trust HIM to get me through the tough times in life and do I believe HIS WORD.
 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)
 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)
God did not do a wondrous work of salvation in our lives for us to remain full of ourselves, selfish and left in immorality. May we join the battle and may we crucify our fleshly desires in order that we make much of GOD so that others see the love of Christ spilling over and out of our hearts. God break our hearts for people and allow us to see beyond our circumstance for the advancement of YOUR KINGDOM. GOD YOU ARE SOVEREIGN!
 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)