Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blessings through affliction

  “The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”” (Genesis 41:52, ESV)

Returning to Joseph, we might wonder at how much Joseph understood or appreciated the grace of God. He was continually blessed in Egypt, but who said he wanted to be in Egypt? He was far from home and far from family.

I don't know how much Joseph saw grace in his life, but today's passage sheds light on at least one occasion. With the birth of his second son, he said, "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."

Joseph was receiving blessing amid a situation he might not call "blessed." He was receiving grace amid a life rooted in affliction.

Our own lives are certainly like this. We may live lives full of affliction, when we pray for blessing we do not envision anything like what we have. But does God no longer bless us? Is there no more grace left for us?

The path through our affliction must lie in humility and faith.

In humility, we must submit our desires to those of our Father. His ways are higher than our ways, his thoughts higher than our thoughts. I doubt Joseph wanted to be in Egypt, but that's where his God had him, so that's where he was faithfully living.

In faith, we trust that God truly does work all things according to good for his children. Sometimes, we measure blessing by our wish list and forget that our Father works perfect blessing for us at all times.

How is God blessing you right now? I don't know. Whether God is blessing you right now? He absolutely is. As you trek through affliction and trial, don't be surprised when God blesses you and is gracious to you.

Really, could it be any other way?

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