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Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 10

Jesus Is The True & Better Joseph

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Today's Text: Genesis 37:1-11, Genesis 37:23-28, Genesis 42:1-11, Genesis 45:1-5, Genesis 50:15-21, Matthew 26:47-50, Romans 5:10

Text: Genesis 37:1-11, 23-28, 42:1-11, 45:1-5, 50:15-21, Matthew 26:47-50, Romans 5:10

I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of my life afraid of nutcrackers. No, I’ve never been personally attacked by one, nor can I explain exactly why these life-size chestnut-chomping soldiers are terrifying, but I can tell you that I’d much rather chestnuts stay roasting on an open fire.

Nutcrackers are about halfway down on my list of fears, accompanied by wild turkeys, elevators, prepackaged deli meat, team-building activities, ostriches, people who think it’s okay to ride ostriches, and Kermit the frog (especially when he plays Tiny Tim in “A Muppets’ Christmas Carol.”)

I am painfully aware that most of these things are benign and will never hurt me, but I still bubble wrap my days in fear, naming my enemies one by one; some silly, some serious. At the core of each is something that resembles rejection, death, loss, failure, abandonment and hopelessness. My fear doesn’t just vanish at will, especially because I know, at some point or another, I will experience pain (John 16:33).   

Remember how, in Genesis 2, God gives Adam the assignment of naming the animals? What a task! I don’t know what Adam’s process was like, but if he was anything like me, he must have been a little overwhelmed to name the vast variety of animals, many of which he had never even encountered. He probably had to do the best he could with what little information he had, naming one based on its high jump, another on its orange color. We can surmise that regardless of the names Adam chose, God already had one for them: good.

Although I wasn’t in the garden that day, I still inherently name things based on the little information I’m given. When tragedy roars or grief screeches, I heap hopeless names onto myself, my circumstances, and God.

But maybe God doesn’t have a name for each individual event that happens to us. He just calls it all good (Romans 8:28). Nothing in God’s will is isolated from the abundance He intends for us.

As noted by the gift of his technicolor dreamcoat, Joseph was a beloved son with a strange prophetic dream his family didn’t believe. His brothers probably named the dream as bad, confusing, and potentially threatening, so they sold their brother to avoid the consequences. Little did they know that even after their betrayal, he was sent “ahead of them to preserve life” and would inevitably save their family lineage (Genesis 45:7). What his brothers intended for evil, God, in His infinite mercy and power, willed for good (Genesis 50:20).

This brings us to the story of another beloved Son: Jesus. Like Joseph, no one believed Jesus was a King, and they resisted His rule through intense disbelief and ultimate betrayal on the Cross.

What names do you think Jesus’ crucifiers called the events that unfolded? They probably had several words for it, but because God’s intention for the gospel is to turn everything right side up, the best place to see its full effect is in the people who hated Jesus the most.

When we overrule God’s given good with our own seemingly better ways, our lack of trust is no different than that of Jesus’ enemies. Ouch. Our eyes become so preoccupied with the how’s, why’s and what-if’s that we miss seeing the One who has gone before us to preserve life (Genesis 45:7). Jesus’ crucifiers missed out on this, too, clutching their fears with doubtful hands.

But when we embrace this truth, we also get to receive this good news: Jesus is the true and better Joseph because He came to reverse the stories of ALL the brothers and sisters who rejected Him, including you and me.

In the ultimate reversal of death to life on the cross, Christ wills even our filthy hearts for good.

Because He walked through our greatest fear for us, all others are joyfully overturned into His perfect will.

For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!”
-Romans 5:10

He calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1), and only because of Jesus—the only One whose birth name was “Good”—we, too, find ourselves, our fears and our days with brand new name tags.

Praise be to God!

SRT-Advent15-instagram10s

  • SHAMEKAMICHELLE

    I love the fact that I can be who God has called me to be by name! I recently sinned. I thought I had overcome this issue, but it reared it’s ugly head. Satan tried to condemn me for “going” back to my old ways. God was merciful and called me by who I am working to be in Jesus’ name. I repented and He forgave me. God reminded me that I have too much to lose to worry and begin to operating in the flesh. The next time I was tempted, the Holy Spirit whispered to me “Remember that God will supply all your needs regardless of what the enemy is trying to make it look like right now.” I was able to withstand and have victory. It is a reminder to live on purpose daily.

  • Teiresha

    I am a little behind in the readings but finally catching up. Each one of these has been a profound blessing to me. I am so thankful I found SRT and the Advent study. I feel like my eyes are being opened wider every day to the most amazing reveals. Thank you ladies for your inspiration and encouragement!

  • I giggled out loud when reading the fears. And I’m right there with you on team-building activities

  • Melinda

    I love how this is so timely for so many but in our presumably different circumstances. How great is our Gods love for us. His reassurance for us, His Grace in our time of loneliness and grief.

  • Colleen T

    Lost my job a week ago, and have been so fearful about my financial future. I swear, everyday there’s some reminder to trust God and to not be afraid. Please help me trust you Lord!

    • Emily

      Praying for you Colleen to trust in Him and learn from Him during this trial—and praying also for his providence!

    • Erin Kirby

      God has a plan for you and your life. I lost my job and thankfully got a new one, but my pay was significantly lower. However, God has always found a way to provide and I believe that more than anything! He will always provide for you!

  • This has been such a timely devotional! I’m amazed at how a book I’m reading, my pastor’s sermons and other little things throughout my day, can be so connected! This study has been so perfect for the time in my life right now. Kind of like the last push to really be serious about my faith. I’m so glad that I saw this app!

  • Betsy Cooley

    “Nothing in God’s will is isolated from the abundance he intends for us.” This was a timely encouragement today. Thank you!

  • Olivia, my dear sister in Christ, the enemy wants us to live in fear but God wants us to rely on Him remembering that He brings us peace and joy. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepard. the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11. I pray that the Lord replace your fears with pure trust in Him, that He will fill you with peace and joy. The Lord healed me from many irrational fears and I know He will do the same for you.

  • Olivia KGH Zdankiewicz

    I fear my husband dying. I fear God is even preparing me for it. I just last week told God I wouldn’t kill myself if he died (not 100% believing it) this is an intense fear. I’m even embarrassed about how I decided I wouldn’t live without him. I just need this fear to go away! I hate it, I hate thinking about it. Any help or scriptures you guys would recommend? I’m really glad this devotional was here for me today.

    • Jennifer

      I have had fears in my life- anxiety and constant worry. The Lord really helped me through a Beth Moore study called Breaking Free. Also, I highly recommend the book, Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow. Praying for God’s peace for you today! Philippians 4:6-7

    • April M.

      Olivia, I would strongly encourage you to find a Christian friend, pastor, mentor, or counselor that you can talk with about these fears. As the Body of Christ we are called to share one another’s burdens and to encourage one another. You need brothers and sisters in Christ to walk with you and to remind you of the good news of the gospel over and over and over! We all need this! Praying for you to have peace!

      • Jennifer

        I echo April’s suggestion of finding a Christian counselor to talk to! I am praying for you again today!

    • Olivia, prayed for you, I was also healed from a similar intense fear as yours, so I pray in faith that he will guide you to healing as well. For me that was counseling with a psychologist who I met with at varying intervals over the course of a year. Through her God showed me the root of my fear and how to cope with it and ultimately relieved the burden from my heart completely within a few years. I pray perseverance because it is a process, but the freedom we have in Christ is so sweet and worth the endurance. Much love to you!

  • Stephanie

    I’m sure many of us can look back on mistakes we’ve made and see how God redeemed them for good just like he did for the brothers!

  • I was so blessed by soaking in Jesus as the better Jacob. Thank you so much!
    As a Muppet Christmas Carol fan though, I must say that Kermit was not Tiny Tim, he was Tiny Tim’s father, Bob Cratchit. :)

  • As I’ve been studying these Bible men who were parallels in some way to Jesus, I’ve been writing down the similarities. Today’s-
    Both betrayed, but that betrayal ultimately preserved life!
    Joseph preserved the life of many people in his time through his God- given dreams, guiding him in how to survive the coming famine.
    Jesus preserves the life (Eternal life!) of anyone, if they believe in Him and turn from their sin. Guiding them in how to survive the coming hell, the ultimate famine.

  • Katie Scarlett

    I loved how she talked about God naming all of the animals “good”- including us. I have to constantly remind myself that I am in fact good.

  • Love this idea of Jesus has gone before us to preserve life- it’s so encouraging to know that the Lord can use our fear and bad circumstances to bring his kingdom to earth. Really enjoying these Advent readings and devotionals. Thank you @kaitlin!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi, sweet Sarah! Thanks for your kind words. Grateful for this truth!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I have started my new walk with the Lord and I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Before my new walk I hurt someone that I love so much, my sister.! I will not go into detail the bottom line is I hurt her deeply. She has forgiven me, but how can I earn her trust back. I know it will take a LONG time I’m just not sure of the steps I should take and want to do the right thing. I am 60 she is 8 years younger. Do you have any suggestions, they will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hannah

      I’m sorry that there has been such hurt in your family. I’m glad that there has been forgiveness, though! The only advice I can give in this situation is to talk to her directly and ask her what you can do to win her trust back, then pray and let God take care of the heart-work that will have to be done in everyone involved. I will be praying for healing in your relationship! Family is precious. ❤️

  • Great reminder of our freedom in Christ. Putting on Rend Collective’s ‘Your Royal Blood’ and enjoying the moment!

  • Such a wonderful reminder that God’s plans are so much bigger than my own as I’m struggling with the feelings that everything that could be going wrong right now is. I am feeling hurt by people that have said they will keep their word, and, reading this, I am drawn back to knowing that God will turn these things for His good. I have never been one to seriously celebrate Advent, but these readings have made this one of my new favorite times of the year and I am noticing the change in how I face the struggles that I’m coming across. Wonderful. Thank you.

  • Great message while I am about to take a final that scares me a little!!

  • Today’s lesson was perfect for me. Thank you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for joining us, Reggie! We love having you in our community!

      Grace and Peace,
      Kaitlin

  • Ahlaischa

    What do I have to fear in this life? Our Father has already conquered death itself, and He goes before me in all things. Nothing is too big or small for my God!!

  • Madison

    Hebrews 4 tells us we are fully exposed before God. He knows our every part – even the very worst ones. And yet with full knowledge of who we are, He does what only He can. He wins the victory and defeats all the things we can’t. And from that victory, He clothes us with righteousness as we stand before the throne. Yes we are fully exposed. But we are also fully covered because of Him. What a joy it is that even with knowing the worst of us, every little piece, He still chooses to cover us fully. We can live in freedom and there is no greater than joy than freedom in Christ.

  • Kendra Wheeler

    did you write this for me today?? God give me the grace to trust You & Your plan & not cling to my fears

  • 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

    How quick we are to judge for ourselves, to let jealousy reign. We need to keep in mind God’s glorious plan!

  • Summer Perez

    Love this- thank you.

  • Day 10 is so timely. My fear of forever singleness has overshadowed who Jesus is and what He can do and has done. I’ve let my doubt and fear reign for too long. I keep going back to what Missy said yesterday, “…was I going to humble myself and wait for God’s best?” I am so grateful for SRT and this wonderful Advent study.

    • Cindy Rust

      Praying for you now Joy.

      • Michelle

        Praying for you Joy! I, too, was single for a long time and then the right one came along out of no where. God has a plan, trust in the process. Pray that he provides you with the people, and the resources necessary to fulfill his plan for you.

    • Alexandra

      I feel you Joy! So thankful for your words

    • Reggie

      I fit into the category of forever single. I am 45 and not dating. Some years have been painfully lonely and hard. But I can say that God is still good. And He called marriage good. But, even if it is not in His will for ME, God is still good. Praying for you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Joy, I’m so glad you brought that up! I hadn’t considered how this truth could apply to singleness, but I’m so with you! Thanks for the encouragement today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Krystal

    What a great reminder that we were the enemies laying Jesus on the cross, whispering about his “non-sensical dreams”. And then Jesus still lays down his own life willingly to save ours and replenish us to much more than just saved–we are chosen, purposed, and willed to be and do good with and for Him and to lay our lives down as well for those around us. This is the meditation I needed to reel in my focus on humility and God’s ever-amazing grace. Thank you for continuing to write and seek the Lord in using the gifts he gave you, Kaitlin! I find your writing enjoyable. Your uniqueness gives such an epic rhythm to it!

    • She Reads Truth

      Krystal, thanks for joining us today! So grateful to hear your kind words. Praying for you as you read God’s Word today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Beverly

    Forgiveness and life-saving grace. These are the parallel themes I found myself meditating on. Joseph forgave his brothers, Jesus forgives us. Joseph preserved his family lineage, Jesus saves us and gives us abundant life.
    Yet I struggle to fully embrace both. Because forgiveness can be tricky as life seems to heap on situation after situation requiring a forgiving heart – both for others and myself. It is far easier to choose the road of hurt and bitterness. And choosing the “easy” road can hinder my acceptance of amazing, saving grace which holds me back from full life.
    I realize these themes go hand in hand. Receiving, accepting and giving forgiveness clears the way for full life. Because until I am at peace with circumstances and people in my life – and even myself – I will be tossed about, un-anchored and flailing just to get by.
    Today (and every day) I will actively choose forgiveness. Because everything begins with a choice, a response to whatever life throws my way – reacting with damaging hurt & disappointment OR embracing life-giving forgiveness.
    Because of Jesus I can rest in forgiveness. I can be called Forgiven.

    • Jena

      Beverly – Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the forgiveness piece really hit home for me. Last night I had a little tat with my husband about something and felt misunderstood and angry but Jesus came in and filled my heart with peace. All I could think about this morning was forgiving him regardless of how I felt. How difficult for Joseph that could have been to forgive, and how easy would it have been for him to choose bitterness against his brothers. It amazes me that God showed him the plan ahead of time. Before he was faced with the adversity and sold into slavery; He showed Him what good would come of it. It really makes me focus on the fact that He causes all things to be good. What Jesus came and did was the ultimate good! And He continues to give us this provision and promise, that makes it so important to forgive, and keep walking with Him. He is soo good.

    • Dana

      Amen, Beverly. How I needed to hear your response tonight! I will choose forgiveness as well. Work has been a struggle particularly today. But it doesn’t need to be if I refuse to let it.

    • ~ B ~

      These truths … “Because forgiveness can be tricky as life seems to heap on situation after situation requiring a forgiving heart – both for others and myself….” and “…Because of Jesus I can rest in forgiveness.” I don’t think we will ever master this Beverly. It brings such peace knowing that while we can not muster enough at times, it is never a question for Christ! Love to you friend! ~ B

  • I’ve always seen myself as Joseph– persecuted, confused, but serving a greater purpose– when reading this story. But considering the parallel to Jesus, the uncomfortable truth is made clear: I’m really Joseph’s brothers. Yikes.

    • She Reads Truth

      Hannah, I had this same realization! Grateful for His rescue! Thanks for joining us!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Growing up in a Christian private school and in the church, I knew the Old Testament was the history lesson, setting up God’s promise, which was fulfilled in the New Testament. These parallels are presenting in a way I’ve never been exposed to. Seeing every story of the OT foreshadow Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice. This study has been really great for me to understand it all.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    I love that even though He gave Adam the task, He already knew what the names would be! He is never surprised! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Nikki Falvey

    Praise God for this study and all those by SRT! I can’t wait to get my husband onto HRT so we can share studies.
    The FACT that Jesus goes before us in all of our trials, that he’s waiting at the end with his hand extended and encouraging words on his lips, is something that I need imprinted on my brain! I get so wrapped up in stress over situations and I nitpick my reactions and thoughts until they are thread bare and my confidence is in shreds. God is sovereign and, through His Son, has experienced all the torments of life before us. He has a plan for us, a plan to prosper us, and is there for us to lean on. Thank you, Lord!

  • The connections between those from the Old Testament and Jesus is just truly touching me. I CANNOT wait to read more.

    • She Reads Truth

      Ashley, it’s amazing, isn’t it?! Excited to spend the rest of Advent with you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Whitney

    I’ve never seen these connections they have been showing between Christ and the OT men. Truly shows advent was much longer than 25 days it was lifetimes and generations of waiting in expectation that’s really humbling for me. I love the metaphor of naming things and how doing so can make us miss the good God has intended for us.

  • Genesis 45, Genesis 50, and Romans 5 all contain my two favorite words of all time: But God. It is in those words that we see the reversal, the intersection of God’s grace into our brokenness. Those two words reveal that God is always in control and will work all things out for His good. And as I write this I wonder how many But God moments linger in my life. How many places where I have lost some hope does Jesus plan to intervene? Where in my own brokenness will God’s Story give Him the glory?

    I pray today to trust in the But God moments and to keep my eyes fixed on the true and better Joseph, Jesus. Thank you for this reminder that the Story is bigger than we can see and full of God’s glory!

  • Andie Walton

    Love this!! Both went forward to preserve life. God has the plan we just need to stop trying to take control.

  • Sarah York

    Also, can anyone tell me how I can get to “reply” to the posts of others and change my profile picture? I can’t find that option on the android app. Thanks! :)

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Sarah! You can click ‘reply’ in the right corner of each post. To set a profile picture, register your email address at Gravatar.com. That way, your picture will appear any time you comment online with that address!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

      • Sarah York

        Thank you so much! It worked! Haha! I must have been doing something wrong earlier as the “reply” feature was not working for me. Anyways, thank you so much. I feel I will get more out of the comments section now. :) *+*+Blessings+*+*

        • She Reads Truth

          So happy to hear that, Sarah! And we will gain so much by hearing from you!

          xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Sarah York

    I love all of these “true and better” comparisons but this one is especially cool with the verse about going before to preserve life. So awesome! :)

  • What others intended for evil, God always meant for good — I need this truth to sink into my soul today! Thank you!

  • Honestly I just wanted to say sometimes I get just as much out of the comments as I do out of the reading so thank you ladies for sharing your thoughts. Keep doing what you do :)

  • My ten-year-old has a variety of fears. One of late is seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. We live in an old house, it makes noises, she hasn’t reconciled that yet. The other day we were coming home and when we walked in the door, she saw a light on upstairs she didn’t remember being on and swore she heard a noise. I, hands full of stuff, explained that all was well and I was sure it was nothing, but no amount of my explaining calmed her worst fears that there was a) an intruder or b) a ghost. Seeing this in her eyes, I set my items on the counter and told her I would venture upstairs to clear the space for her. She stood, wringing her arms at the bottom of the steps, ear to the going ons. Not long after I went up, she was calling, with a cracking voice, my name, asking if I was okay, if I was there. I reaffirmed that I was and after thoroughly searching made my way to a worried beauty at the base of our stairs. I put my arms on hers, looked her in the eyes and said, “All is well, sweet girl. No worries.”, “Are you sure?” she asked … and I reiterated my certainness.

    I think about about Joseph’s brothers. They were so worried that he would revenge their actions, but he assured them that he would not and he forgave them despite their wretchedness. He did hide in wait to destroy them, he ensured, all was well between them. And Jesus … oh, Jesus! HE cleared the way for us. He has already stood in our dark places, ventured into our worries, cleared the way and unlike my “clearing of our 2nd floor”, He faced actual torment. He stared down our fears, vile lies, horrible experiences, our damnation as if they were monsters lieing in wait. He went before us, while we stood by and listened. Blow after blow, piercing after piercing He took for US, the very folk that condemned Him to begin with. And just when we realize we sent our SAVIOR to face these horrific things for us, to die for us, we call out … “Jesus? Are you there?” and still, He comes to us, lays His hands upon us and says, “I’m here, love, all is well.” And because we know we are so unworthy and our fears creep in, we worry that this can’t be, surely, there is something lurking that will separate us. And without word, He sees our concerns and He reaffirms to us, “All IS well, sweet girl. I am here and nothing, NOTHING will ever take me from you.” We don’t have to face our second floor fears because Christ already has. He has faced them and He has defeated them. His victory is fully in our defense. Though we did not deserve it, He cleared the way!

    “God sent me ahead of you….” – – So incredibly thankful that I don’t walk this alone and that my Lord goes before me still. That the moments I fear facing something terrible, I know that Christ is already ahead of me. It must go through Him first. Prayerful that I don’t forget for a moment His forgiveness of me, of His protection of me, His redemption of me, His love over me! ~ B

    • ~ B ~

      ugh, “did not hide” … where is edit when you need it?! :)

    • rachel marie

      always love reading your thoughts, B! thank you for sharing! :)

    • Lindy

      Thank you B. This is chock full of truth!’ Oh that I would know that he has faced all my fears and already defeated them.
      Much love to you today dear sister.

    • Carrie(d)ByFaith

      Perfect! Thank you so much for sharing these words!

    • Grace

      “…and still, He comes to us…” Thanks so much for your insight!

    • Kylee

      Beautiful, B. Just beautiful!

    • April

      Your response made me tear up! So needed! I have a looming final today, but He HAS gone before me. Prayers are needed. Thanks for sharing!

    • Alexis

      Love this! Thanks for sharing your thoughts as always <3

    • Hannah

      Thank you for your words of hope

    • Amy

      Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your thoughts today; I really needed to read this!

  • Take comfort, sister…Kermit does not play Tiny Tim in a Christmas Carol, he plays Bob Cratchit. I had always assumed that Robin (Kermit’s nephew) plays Tiny Tim, but IMDB just lists the character as “Tiny Tim Cratchit”, while Kermit’s character is listed as “Kermit the Frog as Bob Crachit”

    Back on topic–Love seeing again how the people and events of the Old Testament point to Christ.

    • ST

      Yes! Bob Cratchit-beautiful character with a heart of gold in a wonderful production. I was distracted by this error in the reading:)

      • She Reads Truth

        ST, sorry for the distraction! Maybe it’s all of the muppet frogs I’m afraid of! ;)

        Thanks for joining us! xo-Kaitlin

      • Sally

        So glad to know I wasn’t the only one! Thoroughly enjoying this devotional, but you just can’t mess up Muppet Christmas Carol like that ;)

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi friend!! Ha, well he LOOKS like Kermit, so I think that was enough to terrify me as a child :) thanks for joining us today!

  • Rebekah

    I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for She Reads Truth! This is my first SRT study, and I have been so, so blessed by it. Each day seems to be getting better, if that’s even possible. It’s all just so rich and is being used to deepen my relationship with The Lord. Thank you, thank you!

    • She Reads Truth

      Rebekah, I’m so glad you’re here!! Grateful for your place in our community and praying for you as you read Truth today.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Jessica

    I’ve been blown away by this study so far. I’ve tended to look at the Old Testament as a cast of characters that show us examples of how to live and point us towards God’s mercies and love on an every straying people. However, I’ve missed how many of these OT characters actually hold deep symbolism and foreshadowing to an always greater and better story of Jesus. How have I missed this for all these years?!

    As for today’s message, I have some fears looming over me that I’d love prayer for. My dad has been going through testing to determine if he has ALS. I read these verses and know in my mind that even this circumstance the Lord can use for good, but in my mind it’s still named pain and death. Will you pray that I hand these fears to God and let Him name it good and for my family and myself to trust according to His perfect plan? Thank you!

    • Rebekah

      Praying for you, sister! I’m right there with you in some ways-my own father may be dealing with what appears to be a tumor of some sort. It’s a scary and emotional time, and yet I rejoice that I can rest in my Savior and His plan. Praise God that He is always there to comfort us through all of life’s trials!

    • Valanne

      Jessica, The Holy Spirit is so good to us, revealing God’s Word as living truth every time we read it. Isn’t this exciting how He continues to reveal Himself to us!!!

      I’ve prayed your request for your dad and your own heart. May you rest in His comfort as your family walks this trial.

    • ~ B ~

      Prayerful over your father Jessica. That you all are granted a calm in this and that Goldy doctors pave the way for answers. That the names pain and death are replaced by peace and life and that your fears vanish as you draw close to Christ in this season. ~ B

    • Sydney

      Praying these things over you and your family Jessica!

    • SusieT

      Praying for you and your family! Please keep us updated!

  • Joseph’s family was blessed because of God’s plan, they were saved through his forgiveness, you might say redeemed, even though they did not deserve it ; I am redeemed through Christ, he looks past my faults and His grace is sufficient for me! Thankful for this study to remind me how the whole Bible leads to Jesus!

  • Kristine

    Pray for me sisters! This is my first year as a special Ed teacher and I am struggling. I just got 3 new students in the past three weeks. I want to believe that God has laid this path before me intentionally like He did with Joseph. But the daily struggle makes me feel like I’m drowning.

    • Brandi

      Kristine, I am a 2nd yr spec ed teacher. Praying for you and the special place God has placed you in.

    • Hannah Zachman

      Dear Lord, I pray over Kristine. I praise you that you are God and we are not no matter the circumstances. We confess that we all to often walk by sight instead of faith. We long to see your purposes lived out through our lives. Give Kristine the faith to love these children of yours. I plead that you might also grant her the sight to know that you are with her and working through her. Amen. Let it be so.

    • Stacy Lozano

      May God place His peace that passes all understanding upon you today! Find comfort in His loving arms and know that you are being prayed for!

    • Sarah Curry

      Kristine that sounds like a lot to deal with! And right before Christmas when everyone is already just DONE with this school year. Praying this morning that He gives you grace, strength, wisdom and energy to get through the last few weeks. You’re not alone, and we’re praying for you.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you right now. My daughter has been teaching for 5 years now and this year has 19 students out of 25 with learning disabilities. What a challenge! I pray for strength and creativity for her daily. She has learned to look for the smallest signs of effectiveness and to thank God for them. God wants both her and her students to succeed so she trusts the outcome to Him. Praying that for you also. I’m so thankful women of Faith are in the classroom, serving these children. You are Light there. You may not always feel like you are, but Kristine, you are!

    • Leslie

      Kristine, I am praying that you will be filled with God’s wisdom to make decisions for best ways to reach your students AND His strength to carry this out. You are in a place of terrific impact!

    • AJB

      4th year sped teacher here. You will be ok! Take a deep breath, find some things you can let go. You are going to make mistakes, but if you commit to loving your students every day and trying to do what’s best for them you will be just fine! The paperwork gets easier the longer you do it and you’ll get better at juggling lots of things. Praying for you!

  • Churchmouse

    Some random thoughts from today’s readings : Parental favoritism resulted in sibling rivalry, jealousy, hatred, disregard for familial bonds and the value of their brother’s life. Shouldn’t the brothers have been angry with their father? His blatant favoritism was the actual root of the problem in the first place.
    Dreams in those days were often the source of prophetic vision. Jacob kept the matter of Joseph’s dreams in his mind. Why didn’t Jacob point out to his family the potential prophetic nature of Joseph’s dreams and that if God was behind them, then they had nothing to fear? The consequences of Jacob failing to lead and guide his sons regarding spiritual matters had disastrous results. Their self – centeredness led them to grievous sin against their own flesh and blood. BUT GOD. Joseph matured through his dire circumstance: he forgave his brothers because he saw God’s bigger picture of his life’s purpose. Joseph, despite his brothers’ betrayal and rejection, desired restored relationship with them. Joseph did not minimize their sin. He acknowledged their evil towards him but He saw God’s greater purpose and also he himself was submissive to the sovereignty of God.

    So I ask myself : do I have misplaced anger? Do I deal with the root issues of problems? Do I value relationships and do I strive to maintain and restore them? Do I search for God’s bigger picture? Do I submit to His sovereign rule over my life, my circumstance? Do I speak the truth about a personal offense and do I move on to forgiveness? Do I diligently teach my children about God’s ways, about spiritual matters, above all the other things I try to teach them?

    And do I see that Jesus is the One who has reconciled me to Himself, that He desires relationship above all else, that His Holy Spirit guides me to all Truth? Do I truly believe that all my self- centeredness has been forgiven and that He calls me His friend?

    Have I bowed down and thanked Him today? And have I told someone, anyone, today of this great news?

    • Brandi

      Good questions! Thank you!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Very powerful questions…….will be mulling these over…..THANK YOU!!!!!

    • Jennifer C.

      I’ve often considered Jacob’s culpability in all of this as well. In so many ways he was a terrible father, a terrible husband, a terrible leader. And YET….God chose him for this work. So many times in the Psalms we hear “the God of Jacob…”. If God can use a seeming scoundrel like Jacob, surely he could use me with all of my faults and failures as well. He really does bring it all together for GOOD!

    • Rebekah

      Excellent observations! Thank you! I thought of the parental aspect when reading about Abraham and Isaac the other day. In order for Isaac to have willingly submitted to Abraham attempting to sacrifice him, Abraham must have been quite the faithful father in terms of how he raised Isaac. He must have instilled into Isaac such a love for, and faith in, God that he was willing in that moment to endure anything for His sake and in obedience to Him! Pretty inspirational when it comes to raising my own little one!

  • It’s hard to believe that Joseph forgave his brothers free and clear with no animosity in his heart – but he saw the bigger plan and chose to trust God and not hold onto bitterness. He was honest about his feelings ( he broke down with real emotion), but he was free of the bondage of hate because he saw all things coming from God’s hand, ultimately. Joe gave us a picture of Jesus – taking what we meant for evil and turning it into good. Choosing to overlook all of our sin against Him, to see God’s expansive and ultimate plan. Praise be to God for this kind of love that my little heart cannot comprehend.

  • Kelly S

    “Jesus is the true and better Joseph because He came to reverse the stories of ALL the brothers and sisters who rejected Him, including you and me.” I balked a little at this. Me? Reject Him? Then my outer covering fell to the ground and the Holy Spirit gently reminded me of all the ways I reject Him on a daily basis. I lay down my cross, replacing it with my pride. I take off the servant’s apron and put on a costume of royalty. I yell, “Crucify Him!” instead of singing songs of praise. This realization brings such sorrow–godly sorrow that leads to repentance. My sorrow is reversed because of Jesus. Godly sorrow becomes JOY! Repentance becomes Life. Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for grace, love, and mercy!

    (Hi, ShariJune! Thanks for reaching out to me :) Love you, sis!

    • Shari

      Hi Kelly, I am so happy to see you this morning!
      You share much appreciated, practical words of wisdom all the time.
      Hugs and joy to you!!!

    • Kelly

      It’s hard to admit we’ve done anything wrong–against others (after all they’re the ones who keep hurting me) or against Jesus (after al I say I want more
      Of
      Him ) . But I don’t let him in or trust him and I don’t see my faults. Praise
      Jesus that I can and that life
      Comes from seeing the truth

    • Kelly

      Amen and thank Jesus for the hope this gives that it is possible and good for me to forgive those
      Who have hurt me too

    • Kelly

      Praise God
      I am reminded and it is penetrating my heart the turret I’ve never seen before hat: I am scared Jesus isn’t there, that he is there because he loves me, that his love is perfect because he loves me despite every way I’ve betrayed him, that he was betrayed first to the point of death and still knows how to forgive and live after so I can do that too in the face of circumstances that have betrayed me

  • candacejo

    Always love reading about Joseph because even when my circumstances do not make sense I can remember Joseph and what he must have thought while sitting in prison. He did nothing to deserve HIS circumstances and yet…God had a plan. A pretty big plan. Since God is no respecter of persons then what He did for Joseph? He can do for me for He loves us just the same.

    So thankful for the beautiful nuggets we can continually find in the Word of God even if we have read it over and over again. ♥

    • Brookeinhd

      This is such a beautiful thought. I needed this devotional today and your additional words. I have been so caught up in the fear and doubt of my circumstances I have neglected to really see the one who had gone before. This morning I start with more faith, more gratitude, and a better understanding that God really does have a bigger plan. Thank you.

  • Over the weekend, looking for something on the bookshelf, I came across a card I had made with a picture of a smiley me with the words, in big CHOSEN… I smiled as I looked at the card, holding it close, ….For my small group I had asked the ladies to bring in pictures of themselves for a project I felt prompted to do, i found some plain cards with inserts…on each I boldly wrote one word that described who we were in Christ….Free, Chosen, Loved, Forgiven, My joy, Blessed, Beloved, Precious. I then placed them in their envelopes and piled them in the centre of the table …each to chose one that was exclusively for them in that moment…mine was CHOSEN…we then stuck our pictures in the inserts….

    He calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1), and only because of Jesus—the only One whose birth name was “Good”—we, too, find ourselves, our fears and our days with brand new name tags.

    I love that we do have positive, great and good names, to describe and remind us of who we are in Christ…what Jesus’ coming and sacrifice bought and afforded us….
    Thank you Jesus that because of you I am changed and changing, not just in who I am, but in the names I called myself, in the identity I had given myself, and in the lies and stories I believed to be true of who I was…Thank you that You are my life changer, my vision corrector, my name perfecter….Thank you that in YOU there is hope in the reversal of death to life…Thank you Jesus…
    Praise be to God.

    Morning …Sending out some love wrapped hugs…xxxxx

    • candacejo

      Chosen! I think mine would have been Redeemed but so many would fit. What a lovely idea for your group. Blessings!! ♥

    • ~ B ~

      Love that idea, Tina! It is one I may have to borrow at some point. Love to you! ~ B

    • Kelly S

      What a beautiful way to claim your new name in Christ! I claim “My Joy.” So often, I feel like a disappointment to God. This stems from my tendencies toward performance-based Christianity. I think He is calling me to be sure that I bring Him joy just as I am–without all of the activities of the Christian life. I can rest in that.

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      What a wonderful idea…..and powerful reminder…..I would chose Loved. I struggle to remember that I am loved – or even lovable. I had a step father who did a number on me psychologically……and even though I *know* that, it doesn’t seem to change the impact on my life. I have not ever experienced a true father-daughter relationship, and struggle to grasp what it means to be truly loved by a father……

      • Kayla

        Heather, I have grown up without a father in my life and only within the past year have I had contact with him (I’m 22) so I know the pain and hurt an absent or abusive father can leave behind and the lies we believe because of it. I have struggled with truly grasping the immense love God has for me as well. I know it in my head but it has taken awhile for that truth to seep into my heart. I always feel encouraged and some sort of connection with anyone who has had a similar experience with their father. I pray that we will be able to know deep in our souls how loved, treasured and worthy we are in the eyes of our Perfect Father and that that knowledge would change the way we view ourselves and how we view Him. Thanks for sharing a little piece of your story this morning.

        • Amanda Pita

          Thank you for telling your story! My father was there but not actually there for me. I never had that father-daughter relationship that I have always wanted. I also struggle with trusting and fully seeing the love that God gave. Starting this plan and praying more has brought me closer to Him. Learning to trust my Heavenly Father and knowing that he will always be there for me has given me so much peace. Again thank you for sharing your stories I sometimes feel like I’m the only one that feels this way. Thank you for giving me encouragement through your prayer. :)

      • Kelly

        I feel the same way but I don’t know why. Broken relationships and a mother who couldn’t be there for me I suppose. It is hard to believed we are loved or to know that love from Jesus’s. I pray for the lord to help us to receive and be filled with knowing him

      • Reggie

        Right there with you, Kayla. Praying for you!

    • Kelly

      It is hard to believe in the new names He gives us. It is easier when I believe He has an abundance of new names because He loves me. It is easier when I trust that these new names are possible. Lord I pray for faith and trust to receive the good and new in place of what was

    • Kam

      This is my first time to post, but I have so appreciated the wisdom and community from all of you. Tina, I especially chime in with you because we are both a bit older than the rest. Such a great idea you have today for emphasizing how much God loves us!

    • BarbaraH

      Thank you for this God-given idea, Tina. When I read it, the word “Precious” leaped out at me. I’ve been through some inner storms in the last few days, praying that I might really be able to believe in His love for me. This helps so much!

  • Adrienne

    “Because He walked through our greatest fear for us, all others are joyfully overturned into His perfect will.”

    In Matthew 26 when see Jesus in the garden, he was sorrowful, troubled, aching, “even to the point of death” (v.38) He experienced true separation from the Father in that moment, our greatest fear, trembling, shaking, separated from God. At this point, the disciples had to be asked by Jesus over and over to “stay awake” to be “watchful” (v.40) for one hour, and pray for Jesus in his sorrow. They couldn’t do it, they kept falling asleep. So one must ask, do I stay awake? Do I keep watch? Do I pray through the sorrows? Do I fall asleep spiritually or am I alive and alert for the kingdom of God?

    Thanks be to God, that Christ lived through the greatest fear of all on our behalf. Sisters, may we wait, pray and stay awake for his glory and goodness in our lives.

    • Kelly

      Thank you Jesus for speaking to me through this that lies I believed are that I am down by being separated and hurt from friends and family who failed me. Thank you for reminding me that my greatest fear is being separated from You, which does hurt much more than separation and brokenness with friends and family. Thank you that now I understand that Jesus felt that hurt for me. I thought that what they did to me means I am dead, but I see that I am alive because I am still connected to and not betrayed by Jesus. I have him, so I have everything I need. I have him , so I can celebrate. Not only do I have life instead of death because I have him, but I have more life because I have everything he is: forgiveness, truth, joy. Praise Jesus for his mercy and kindness to give me this understanding that trusting him to forgive and cling to what I have (him), letting the rest go, I can have a reversal from my self-percieved
      Death to life. I know now death is separation from God, and jesus is there to give us life in the midst of broken relationships. I know now I haven’t been awake to
      See life
      Because I thought broken relationships were the end of it. I didn’t know it doesn’t stop there. Or that it doesn’t end in despair. Now I know by forgiveness and togetherness with God that life is there–He uses things that kill to bring good and life

      • Alexandra-Leigh

        “Death is separation from God, and Jesus is there to give us life in the midst of broken relationships.”
        Thank you for sharing, Kelly.
        A beautiful reminder. ♡

  • Monica Mckinny

    “He calls us by name (Isaiah 43:1), and only because of Jesus—the only One whose birth name was “Good”—we, too, find ourselves, our fears and our days with brand new name tags.” LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! I pray everyone is being blessed by this series as much as I am!
    I’m enjoying putting myself outside of my usual thinking! I’ve never questioned Jesus being less than any of the historical figures of our religion, but there are so many who denied & still deny Him as the son of God! They still value many of these influential characters above our Savior…they don’t realize the love to be found in acknowledging Jesus for who He is!

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