Trust God. He is in Control.

This is a story of a man named Joseph. At a young age, his brother’s sold him (Genesis 37:28) to be a slave in Egypt. But the Lord was with Joseph and everything that he did was successful, so his master Potiphar made him an overseer (Genesis 39:4) of his entire household. Now Joseph was handsome which lead Potiphar’s wife to desire him. She tempted him to come to bed with her numerous times, but Joseph was a man of God and did not want to sin against Him. One day, Potiphar’s wife was out again to tempt him. Joseph refused but she was able to catch him by his garment and left his garment in her hand. Then she reported to her husband that Joseph tried to rape her – this lead to Joseph’s imprisonment despite his innocence.

This was the story that happened before Genesis 40. That’s why in Genesis 40 you would read that Joseph was already in prison. But even in prison the Lord was with Joseph, he was put in charge of all the prisoners.

Joseph with Cupbearer and BakerThis chapter starts with a story about a cupbearer and baker who was put to prison, and Joseph was put in charge of them. Now, was this coincidence? I don’t believe so. God has a plan. He was always in control of Joseph’s life. He was always there, allowing everything to come into place.

When the cupbearer and baker had dream, Joseph notice that they were sad because no one was able to interpret what they saw. And I like what Joseph said in Genesis 40:8, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please.”

What can we possibly learn from what Joseph said?

First, Joseph acknowledged God. It’s amazing to see Joseph’s response to his situation. He was sold to slavery. He was accused of rape. He was put to prison. But despite all that has happened to him, he still acknowledged God. He didn’t hold a grudge against God. He responded well, knowing God is, and has always been in control. How about us? When problems come our way, or when things do not go as we expended it to happen, do we grumble? Do we hold a grudge against God? Do we see the trials in our life as God’s blessing? Do we see just like what James 1:2-3 says?

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

Secondly, look at what Joseph said next, “Tell it to me, please.” Why would Joseph ask them to tell them their dream? If he believes that God can only give the meaning of these dreams, then why would he ask them to tell it him? Was he going against his belief that he can interpret it, and not God?

Do want to know what I’ve realized? Joseph said this not because he believes that he can interpret it, but because he knows God is with him. He believes that despite everything that has happened in his life, God is still with him and God will give him the proper interpretations for their dream. Joseph has a faith that we should learn to imitate!

Joseph saw that God hasn’t left him despite the situation of his life. Joseph saw all of these things happening for a certain reason. What could be that reason? Did Joseph foresee everything that the Lord will be doing in his life? That is something that I don’t see clearly in the bible, but one thing is for sure – He knows everything that is happening in his life is God’s hand upon, and he knows that God is good! He said to his brothers (who sold him to slavery) when they encountered them again:

 Genesis 45:5-8

5 Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Indeed, God was and has always been in control. When the cupbearer and baker shared their dream to Joseph, he was able to interpret them. The cupbearer was reinstated to his position, in pharaoh’s court, just as Joseph said. And when pharaoh had a dream, it was Joseph who also interpreted. It was the cupbearer who told pharaoh that Joseph can interpret. Was it coincidence that all of these things happened? I don’t believe so. Joseph interpreted pharaoh dream and through this pharaoh saw the Lord was with Joseph. So he made him second in command to him. The Lord was indeed good!

You may be going through a tough time in life. You might not understand why things are happening this may. Take heart. If you know God and he is your Lord, take heart that your life is in his hand and he is in control. If you don’t know God and he is not your Lord, I suggest you make him your Lord first and allow him to take control of your life.

The Lord loves us. May we learn to trust him – he is in control. No matter the situation. No matter the circumstance. Let us find joy in our trials and let us always give glory to God despite whatever is happening in our life. If you would read Joseph’s response, he has always acknowledged God in his life. Despite the success that has happened in his life, he has always acknowledged that it is God’s work and not his.

May this message bring you hope. May this message turn you to trust God and hope in Him. There are so many things to learn from Joseph’s life. May we follow his response in his life and trust God that he is under control.

Hope in God

What do you hope for? Do you hope for a new job? A new relationship? A new adventure in life? A new smartphone? But first let me ask you this question, what is hope?

Hope looks at the future. You are hoping because there is something to look forward to. Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Single individuals might hope in their work to achieve their goals and dream. Or they might hope for a relationship where they would receive the love they need. These can be the wrong anchors or sources of our hope.

Hebrews 12:2 says keep your eyes on Jesus who perfects our faith. It is actually saying that we are to hope in God. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Wherever there is full assurance of hope, there is faith. Faith is the full assurance of hope. Hope is part of Faith. Therefore, in Hebrews 12 God is the author or source of our faith, and He is the source of our hope. He is the one we are to hope for because he will be the one who will make what we hope for come into a reality. Look at what Romans 15:13 says also.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

When is says “God of Hope” it means God is the source of hope. I like how its translated in the NLT version, it says: “God, the source of hope, will.” Hope here in Greek is elpis meaning expectation, trust, confidence and expectation of what is sure or certain. We can now relate this to God the source of hope as God our source of confidence as we expect something to be sure or certain.

That’s why I would like to define hope as CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE ANCHORED ON GOD WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Great Expectations because God can do more than what we could think of our imagine and because we expect it to actually happen. One famous preacher said, biblical hope is just not a desire but it expects it to happen

This is an message directed towards singles. As single individuals we should hope in God in these three areas:

  1. Hope in God as our Hope in our Work
  2. Hope in God as our Hope in our Relationships
  3. Hope in God as our Hope in our Future

1) HOPE IN OUR WORK

What could possibly we be your hope in your work? What are you hoping for in your work? Do you hope your office will look as cool as the office of Google, Dropbox or Lego? Or are you hoping to find the right career?

For most of us I know this is something that we want to achieve that’s why we hope for it. We even pray for it. We hope to find our dream job. We might be in a place right now were there’s too much work and we feel that compensation is not at par with the load you are given. You have too many overtime plus there’s office politics.

Do not endure because of your hope in finding the right job someday, but work because you are working for the Lord

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Look at the hope that is being mentioned here – “since you know what you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as reward.” You will get a reward as you live a life of obedience, just working for the Lord even if you earthly bosses doesn’t reward you.

That’s why you are to respond properly and do your best in your work. Love the people (your officemates) you work with and share Jesus to them. Show Jesus in how you do your work and do not crumble

I know this is easier said than done. I have experienced this. But let your focus be on desiring to hear from God “Well done good in faithful servant.” Imagine that kind of a reward! And as we work for him, the Lord will empower us to work with passion and love for what we are doing when we rely on Him and the power of the Holy Spirit

Our hope in work should also not be to gather riches in this world which his temporary.

1 Timothy 6:17

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Put hope not on Money but the Lord. That you may find security in Him and not in material possession.

2) HOPE IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS

What are you hoping for in your relationships? Finding the Perfect Partner? Or the hope that marriage will solve everything?

I appeal to you brothers and sisters that our hope to get love and attention should not be on people. People are not perfect. They will fail us. Hope is secure in God because God is not changing and will never fail us. That’s why single individuals are not to focus on marriage as a means to an end to this single life but our focus is to be the best the Lord wants us to be.

I don’t know if you’ve read this article entitled “Marriage Isn’t for You.” It went viral and got a million hits. Seth Adam Smith, the writer, got it!

“Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me,” Smith begins, before pulling a bait and switch on the reader and launching into his pro-marriage stance, which he developed after getting cold feet before his wedding to wife Kim. “Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?”

Turned to his father for guidance and says that what he learned was life-altering. “He said, ‘Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.’”

I believe this is the kind of selfless love that we need to develop. This is the kind of love that we need to learn how to practice in our family and friends. And we can only learn how to do this once we understand that true love can only be found in the Lord.

What should be our hope in our relationships? Our hope in our relationships for the people that we love is for them to know the Lord. We should not be selfish. We should only look after their best. And that is for them to have a relationship with the Lord and experience eternal life with Him in heaven someday.

But you can only hope in God – that the power of His love and grace will be able to transform them. Because change is not dependent on us but on the Lord.

1 Corinthians 3:4-6

4 When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? 5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

If you are praying for the salvation of a family member – Hope in the Lord. If you are leading a bible study group or discipleship group, you need to realize that change will not come from you but from God.
Of course, you have to do your part in being faithful to sharing Jesus to them. That they may get to know the Lord and be secured in their future. You need to take action! It’s hope that moves. Hope in God.

3) OUR HOPE IN OUR FUTURE

It is our future destination that gives us hope.

Colossians 1:4-5

4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 5 which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News.

Not matter what we are going through in this earth – trails, pain, hardship, etc. It is nothing compared to eternity. Our time here is just like a day that has gone by compared to eternity. What should you value more, 60 years on earth or limitless years in eternity?

Think about it. Hardship is just like a second compared to an eternity of pleasure with the Lord in Heaven.
That’s why as children of God, we always have hope! Maybe on the earth you feel none but this is only our temporary place.

As singles, we are easily prone to lose our eternal focus because of the things we want to do. We want to achieve a lot in our work. We want to be fit and exercise. We want to travel and see the whole world. We want to try a new hobby or start investing to save for the future.

But it is not the temporary investments that you should give your time and effort to but on the things that will have eternal value. This is where we should invest our time and effort into. That means sharing Jesus to people around you because their relationship with Him is what will last all throughout eternity. And if that means you are to do your best in your office, in hope that people will see Jesus in you, then do so passionately.

Have the right anchor in your hope. Hope in God alone in your work, relationship and future. God is our hope which will never disappoint us and fail us. There will be a time where we will have problems and go through trials. What should keep us going is our hope in God and in his never ending love.

I love this story about a guy in Bangladesh who was being persecuted and was going through a tough time but had anchored his hope in Jesus Christ alone. This is what he said:

Milon says, “We are going through many problems, but still we have Jesus Christ. We have peace through Him, and we have hope that when we die we will go to heaven.”

This guy knew where to place his hope. How about you? Where are you putting your hope into? Is it anchored in the right foundation?

We will cut off your feet (Milon G, Jesus Freaks)

The angry crowd yelled after the lone bicyclist, “If we see you again, we will cut off your feet. Then see if you can ride your bike!”

This is not the first time Milon G. had been threatened by angry crowds of Muslims. But such threats have not quenched his zeal to take the truth of God’s Word to his countrymen.

Indian boy Riding a Bike“I ride to the villages on my bicycle and carry Christian literature. In the rains, I hold an umbrella in one hand and steer with the other. I often fall down and get muddy and scratched. At night, I hold a flashlight. I sing from the Psalms when I ride. The Christians I meet do not have an extra blanket for me, so I try to make it back home to sleep.”

Milon was a teenager when a friend gave him some gospel booklets. “I hid them in a steel trunk in my bedroom. At night I would get my keys, open the trunk and read with a kerosene lamp. Having studied in a muslin fundamental school for twelve years, I had known about Jesus as mentioned in Koran but I didn’t know Him as Saviour. I accepted Jesus in 1992 and was baptized secretly 400 kilometres from my home.”

Stockphoto indian marketEver since then, Milon has been persecuted by Muslims. “I sold clothing in the local market and began placing some Christian books in my shop for other Christians. When Muslim men learned of this, they would walk into my shop and just take shirts, pants and socks from the shelf without paying for them. If I asked for money they threatened to bet me. Anytime someone is interested in the booklets, I give them one.”

Milon says, “We are going through many problems, but still we have Jesus Christ. We have peace through Him, and we have hope that when we die we will go to heaven.”

From Jesus Freaks: stories of those who stood for Jesus 

  • Check my Top Posts & Pages

    What is Spiritual Perseverance?
    Trust God. He is in Control.
    One lesson we can learn from Jesus washing the disciples’ feet