For I the Eternal your God hold you by the hand, whispering, “Fear not, I will help you.”
Isaiah 41:13 (Moffatt)
Did you ever look at the ‘but scriptures’ in the Bible?
‘But’ means amongst other things: nevertheless, however, on the other hand, or on the contrary. But in my opinion, it is sometimes used biblically to indicate that Someone with another agenda is at work in the lives of His people!
For example, Joseph was treated shamefully by his brothers because he was his father Jacob’s favourite son, the son of his old age. They hated him because of this and of course, the coat of many colours didn’t help. Because of this favouritism they sold him as a slave, and he ended up in Egypt. (Genesis chapters 37 to 46.) But, after many trials and difficulties he was exalted by Pharaoh to the highest rank in the land! Joseph became aware that God was in control of his life – notice what he told his brothers after they were reunited, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV emphasis mine)
This amazing young man saw God’s hand in his life and despite all his trials his God had a plan for him – and he was right! This great God still declares to his people, ‘ “…I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
We just might conclude by looking at 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 in the NIV. It reminds us Paul says:
‘But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.’ (emphasis mine).
But why is this?
Because our Father holds us close and whispers, ‘Don’t be afraid! I will help you!’
Joseph learnt that God is in control of our lives – not us!
Tender Father, thank you for never forsaking us and for every time you hold us close to your heart, and calm our fears with your love. Amen.
Study by Cliff Neill
About the writer:
Cliff Neill is a Minister in Grace Communion International Hemel Hempstead, where he is on the Leadership Team.
GCI Hemel Hempstead
Adeyfield Free Church Centre
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