Joseph entered Egypt a slave, but exited a Prince. GOD makes no mistakes.
Jesus, by grace, is still changing lives … we may not become princes in this lifetime, but we are promised to reign with Him forever. While there are the examples of Job and Joseph who were exalted after much adversity, there are also the examples of Moses and Paul who were groomed to be leaders in their nations, but who forsook such pomp and riches to pursue their GOD through suffering.
He not only allows us to overcome the greater sins that destroy health, life, families, and lead to results such as imprisonment, divorce, homelessness, and pain, but to also overcome lesser, more deceiving sins that may result in pleasure, fame, wealth, and comfort.
He allows us to avoid pitfalls, besetting sinful weights, wrong attitudes, humanistic rationalism, man-made doctrines and traditions, and the desire for acceptance by men more than GOD that leads to patterning one’s self after the world instead of being transformed by Christ.
He protects us, sustains us, and gives us strength to stand strong when everyone else around us finds our beliefs, our lives, and our conscience for GOD to be a nuisance.
He emboldens us when we would rather avoid confrontation in marking false teachers or when doing so might interfere with our own desires such as making money or maintaining a comfortable job.
He gives the shy child the strength, as they grow into a young person, to share the Gospel with others, courage to encourage others for Jesus Christ, and boldness to warn brethren of which pitfalls to avoid even if such warnings may cause discomfort to those who want to enjoy such “lesser sins”.
He stirs our souls, touches our hearts, brings a tear to our eyes, helps us see eternity as we’re walking down a tough trail, and makes us desire GOD more than anything humans have to offer.
He helps us to realize that death is a door, not a tragic end.
He takes a youth who could have had a full ride scholarship in his profession and pushes him instead to change schools in order to follow GOD’s leading in His life, even if he has to work to provide money for his tuition in addition to a full load of classes.
He takes a youth who could have gone to most any college he desired if he had desired to be a top athlete who desecrates GOD’s Sabbath and laws, and Jesus changes the youth into a man who instead goes to a small Bible institute to study the Scripture and serve humbly in a pastorate for many years, quietly and without applause (where he still serves today), in spite of the costs and sacrifice to his family and dreams and love for the sport.
Jesus takes a youth with a love for the arts, a scholarship, an invitation from the world’s first and largest commercial print modeling agency, opportunities in Hollywood and national news in NYC, a position as the judge in a nationally recognized talent competition, and numerous connections with top talent agents and Hollywood movers and shakers, and strips the youth of all these things in order to keep his conscience clean while even taking away the desire of this youth to be a part of such worldly success, and replacing these things with a desire to be a volunteer for Jesus in His work on earth. By grace, Jesus even takes this youth further to the place this man was willing to resign from ministries or blow the whistle at standard jobs when asked to violate conscience … and all of these things due to a hunger to please GOD and reach the lost … and even if that meant no more work in the areas he loved … and then quietly he watched while others who are labeled “spiritual” accepted the “crowns of the world” while being applauded by both the world and most “christians”, while he himself was despised for Christ instead.
Jesus takes an adult who could easily climb the “corporate ladder”, but by his following of conscience, He allows him to be challenged instead, so he can have the opportunity to suffer for Christ and to be purged and to have more of the fruits of GOD’s Spirit in his life, and to also ultimately receive more rewards in the end … rank and rewards that last for all eternity.
Jesus takes a young boy whose dad was an abusive drunk and transformed his life, so that one day he was able to lead that same drunken father to Jesus Christ.
Jesus takes a school youth who suffers ridicule for not participating in the immorality, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, sinful pleasures of youth, and conversations involving Satanism, pornographic content, and evil, and allows the youth to sit alone reading the New Testament and growing in grace, while training the youth to not worry about what peers think, so that one day this youth could be used to stand alone in times of chaos and confusion for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Jesus takes in those who are not popular or wealthy or beautiful by worldly standards and allows them to realize that GOD’s love and acceptance is the only thing that matters, and gives them amazingly beautiful love for others and close friendships with family and true friends.
Jesus takes the beautiful men or women of the planet filled with lust for pleasure and immorality and glory, and turns them into people who refuse to even flirt or lust and who instead love GOD, others, and their families with a passion.
Jesus takes the wealthy of this world and makes them give away their riches for the cause of Jesus Christ while walking away from high society and their rank within that realm and then makes them strive for true riches that are invisible, but one day eternal and visible.
Jesus takes the appetite for the world and its pleasures from a soul and fills the same individual with a hunger for Himself.
Jesus makes it more important for one to hear His still, small voice in everything they do, every moment of every day, and drives them to their knees and the Word daily.
Jesus brings them joy, true joy, wonderful joy.
The Touch of the Masters Hand
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, but held it up with a smile;
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried, “Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three dollars twice; going for three..”
But no, from the room, far back, a gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low, said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin, Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin,
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
– Myra ‘Brooks’ Welch
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed
he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:
“LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me.”
The LORD replied:
“My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you.”