In our current preaching series,”Welcome to the Wilderness” we are taking 6 weeks and 6 biblical characters to consider how we might follow their example and navigate the wilderness experiences of our lives for the glory of God and for our good. This past weekend I talked on the subject of the wilderness experience of betrayal and how Joseph, the son of Jacob moved from favored son and hated brother to slave and prisoner to 2nd in command of all of Egypt without compromising on his principles and his faith in God. If you’re like me there may have been a few key points and quotes that you wanted to write down but your thumb typing didn’t go as planned or you simply couldn’t find that elusive pen. Either way, check out some highlights below and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, let me know.
When you’ve been betrayed…
- REFLECT on why it happened
- RELEASE those that have inflicted pain
- REACH OUT to help and serve others
- REFOCUS on God
“To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness – especially in the wilderness – you shall love him.”― Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces
Even when we think the choice isn’t ours to make, just like Joseph, we get to choose our response to betrayal. We get to choose what we believe about God, what we will believe about other people, about ourselves. Whether we will believe the one that the Bible calls – the evil one, the one who comes to kill, steal and devour, the father of lies or the one that is truth, is the embodiment of love, who laid down his life for you and I. We have a choice, the lies of Satan or the love of Jesus.
It’s in the wilderness, that we’re stripped down to only the essentials of survival – and it’s in the wilderness where nothing else matters except for the presence of Jesus.
We never do know how things will turn out. But we know that God will work them out and He will work them out for our redemption.
We will fall in love, get a job, bury loved ones, say goodbye to children, move to a faraway city, raise cats, lose a fortune on the stock market, go to war, and end up living in Singapore.
Sometimes, we will put God first, sometimes we won’t. Still, somehow God works things out for our good. Both, because that is his nature and because that is His will for our lives.