Tag Archives: Book of Genesis

When troubles come…

Notice that I didn’t title this blog entry “IF troubles come…” If you’re breathing, trouble will NOT be a stranger to you!

The notion that following Jesus equals an easy, comfortable, pain-free journey through life is one of the BIGGEST, oldest and most dangerous of misperceptions. False expectations, in general, set us up for disappointment; but this one can crush our spirit and even our faith if we’re not careful.

Often when a hard time hits, when a crisis hits, when a tragedy hits, we want out. We ask God for an airlift out of our problems. But many times God wants us to learn in the midst of those difficulties—and to learn especially about His love for us:

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. (Romans 8:35, 37 NLT)

Notice that phrase “all these things.” This passage isn’t saying we won’t face some of these struggles, but that in them we’re “more than conquerors.”

If you’re seeking to obey the Lord, expect opposition. Expect obstacles. Expect difficulties. But also expect God to see you through.
~ Excerpted from Beyond by Greg Laurie

Joseph is a prime example! (Genesis 37, 39-50) Betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers! Falsely accused by his employer’s wife and tossed into prison. Forgotten about by a friend after helping him understand a dream.

From our Lower Story, earthly perspective we could easily conclude that God had forsaken Joseph. But twice – when he arrives in Egypt as a slave and when he is thrown in prison, it clearly states that “the LORD was with Joseph.” (Genesis 39:2, 21)

God sustains Joseph and we eventually learn that all of this was used by God to further His Upper Story, kingdom agenda.

How can we prepare our hearts to trust God when troubles come?

***

If you’re reading The Story with us then read chapter(s) 4 this week. If you’re unfamiliar with The Story then check it out on the page tab above!

Leave a comment

Filed under Divine presence, Faith, God, Hope, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Love of God, The Story, Trusting God

What will we reflect today?

Since it’s the beginning of a new year I’m taking a couple different approaches to reading through the Bible. I’ll blog about those approaches some other day. But I’m very much looking forward to something new.

The other day as I reread the Creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 a couple of things stuck out to me.

The first thing is the consistent repetition of a particular phrase. Over and over we read of God speaking into existence a certain aspect of Creation and then the statement “and God saw that it was good.” You can’t miss the pattern. Even a first-time reader can spot it from a mile away. There was a certain rhythm in God’s bringing into existence all that we experience as the known universe.

The second thing that struck me had to do with something entirely opposite the first. Rather than a repetition there is something mentioned only once. On day six of Creation the Triune God – Father, Son and Spirit – brought mankind into the storyline but made a unique, one-of-a-kind statement.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” ~ Genesis 1:26

Nothing else in all of God’s creation contains this image of Himself, this likeness. Only human beings received the very breath of life from God.  It’s so unique that all of Genesis 2 is devoted to more detail about it. What’s the significance of this? It demonstrates our unique capacity to reflect God’s glory in this life.

All aspects of God’s world reflect His glory. The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the oceans… But none to the degree that we human beings do. It’s a privilege, an honor, that can be used for good or bad. One simple smile or kind word shines more brightly than the most starlit night. And one harsh word or unkind deed can leave smudges on God’s glory that can take years to erase.

What will we reflect of God’s glory today in how we relate to others?

1 Comment

Filed under Christianity, Glory of God, influence with the world, Loving others