Tag Archives: comfort

Strengthen Your Brethren

STRENGTHEN YOUR BRETHREN

 

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you; that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”    -Luke 22:31-32

 

I want to thank the mom with the wayward child who comforted me when my child went astray. I want to thank the blind man who inspired me when I realized I may go totally blind. I wish these people could have been spared their trials, but they were able to help me because they had gone through the same thing.

 

When Jesus told Peter to strengthen the brethren, He knew that Peter would deny Him. He also knew that Peter would become a strong preacher, and that he would help restore John Mark (Acts 15:36-40; 1 Pet. 5:13). He knew that Peter would write epistles to suffering Christians and that he could teach them and help them because of what he had been through.

 

God has many purposes for our suffering. One of His purposes is that we may give comfort and strength to our Christian brothers and sisters. Possibly you are going through something right now. It could be an illness, a financial hardship, a wayward child or a lost loved one. There may come a time when you are able to help someone who is going through the same thing. You don’t have to give them any answers, but you can tell them about God’s grace. Remind them that God will never leave them and that He gives peace that is beyond our understanding.

 

It may not mean much to you right now to know that later on you may comfort someone else, but when you reach that point, you will thank God for the ability to help them. They will be thankful for your encouraging words. It is amazing how God enables His children to bear one another’s burdens.

 

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale New

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They Meant Evil, God Meant Good

THEY MEANT EVIL, GOD MEANT GOOD

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Gen. 50:20 (NKJV)

Joseph was a godly person who was always plotted against. He experienced much evil, but he looked past it to see God’s hand at work.

First, Joseph was hated by his own brothers. They abandoned a plan to kill him when they sold him into slavery. Joseph was purchased by Potiphar in Egypt. God was with Joseph, causing everything he did to prosper. Therefore, Potiphar made Joseph overseer (Gen. 39:1-6).

That was not the end of Joseph’s troubles.  Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him; But Joseph honored God and fled. Her false accusation of rape sent Joseph to prison.

Joseph held an administrative position while imprisoned. He also interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Upon his release, the butler did not mention Joseph as promised. Two years passed before the butler told anyone about Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams.

Pharaoh had experienced dreams that no one could interpret. Joseph was brought from prison and through God’s wisdom; he gave Pharaoh the warning concerning the upcoming famine which was pictured in his dreams. Joseph also gave Pharaoh a plan to collect food during the years prior to the famine. Pleased with Joseph’s discernment, Pharaoh made him second in command over Egypt.

Joseph realized that if he had not been sold into slavery, falsely accused, and imprisoned, he would not have been able to spare the lives of many people, including his own family. Thirteen years of evil and betrayal, though not condoned by God, were weaved into God’s plan for Joseph.

God can use our bad circumstances by over-ruling them through His providence to bring about good (Rom. 8:28). Friend, take comfort in God’s providence. What others meant for evil, God meant for good.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Joseph and this reminder that You are working through Your providence to bring about good from the evil that others inflict. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Gen. 50:15-22.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Can you recall a time when God providentially worked something out in your life? Give Him thanks.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.