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Monday, September 29, 2008

Rant and Rave or Trust and Obey

The following reflections are from Jason Argo, Family Life Pastor at the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church. Pastor Jason and his wife Nicole have been a part of our chuch family for about 15 months. They also have an adorable 1 year old daughter named Rowen.

Most of us remember the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. God had incredible plans for Joseph! He communicated to him through a dream that he would be elevated to a high position over his brothers. Since he was the second youngest of 12 boys, this didn’t sit well with his brothers. Their jealousy got the best of them and they ended up selling Joseph into slavery.

Genesis 37:26-28 says, “Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.”

This obviously wasn’t the end of the road for Joseph. God does elevate him to a position of power in Egypt and soon enough, his brothers come before him asking for help.

“His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said. But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:18-20

Even though he was sold into slavery, the Bible tells us “the Lord was with Joseph.” And slowly, God brought Joseph to a position of great responsibility in Egypt. Because of this position of authority, Joseph would provide a safe place for his family in Egypt.

Eventually, Joseph’s brothers felt sorry for mistreating Joseph; but Joseph looked at his troubles from a different perspective. Joseph said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” Think about it. After all the mistreatment and abuse Joseph experienced, God’s hand was working to bring about good.

How do you react when people or circumstances mistreat you? Do you rant and rave, pointing out your predicament to anyone who will lend an ear? Or do you act like Joseph, stepping back and letting God’s hand work to make things better. The next time you are mistreated, try following the example of Joseph. You’ll be glad you did!


Anonymous said...

In the past, before developing my relationship with Christ, I ranted and raved when I was mistreated and gossiped quite often. I was quick to blame others and deny that I did anything to cause the mistreatment. I was very resentful.

Now, I seek peace through prayer. I attempt to hold my tongue, but am not always successful. I make an effort to stay true to God even in the most difficult times. I try not to compromise my commitment to Christ and am always ready to offer forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

It sometimes seems easier to rant and rave and it is a quicker first response.Jesus often reminds me to trust him and not look at my circumstances. Its as if he is saying Maria I got this just let me have it ok I'll get you through this it will be okay just trust and obey. Like the old hymn goes trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Im sure it will always be something I'll to continue to strive to do until Jesus comes back to take us home.

Lenny Luchetti said...

Thanks for the opportunity to reflect on this topic, Jason. Ranting and raving, though I'm often guilty of it, is really a sign of a lack of faith in Christ. What made Joseph so exemplary was his ability to trust God even when his circumstances seemed senseless and disappointing. The text of the Joseph story (13 chapters in Genesis if I remember correctly) keeps repeating a tiny but significant phrase "and the Lord was with Joseph." Whether a slave in Potiphar's house, a prisoner, or second in command of Egypt, the Lord was with Joseph and he lived as if he knew it. May it be so with us.

harley69 said...

Although Joseph was treated miserably, he stayed faithful. He didn't rant & rave but trusted & obeyed. I ranted & raved for so long when I didn't get my way and in the past several months have been in my own Egypt. But God is faithful and has brought me through a very difficult time. From PA losing all-to MN and gaining peace. Learning to trust and obey is not like instant potatoes!! It is easy to trust & obey when all is well - but in crisis it takes work & diligence and lots of prayer from brothers and sisters in Christ to hold us up and guidance from the Holy Spirit.