The Lord used all the trials in bringing Joseph to power at the right moment to spare his family – who were the Messiah’s ancestors – from the effects of famine. In our own life, we can see God’s actions only from the limited vantage point of our humanness. Often the Lord’s goals and purposes are hidden from us until His plans come to fruition. We may wonder at the turns our life takes, but we can be certain God is sovereign over all the earth. The wicked may triumph for a season, but the final victory belongs to Christ and His righteous followers.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, July 24, 2021.
If we were to separate Adam and Eve’s sin from it’s context, few of us would convict them of great transgression. All they did was swallow some fruit from a tree with a “do not eat” sign. Today, people think nothing of ignoring commands – even Biblical ones.
We tend to categorize sins as small and non-impactful, or large and severe. But God has a totally different view of our sins. Each one is followed by negative consequences.
The good news of Christ’s grace and forgivenessis our only real hope in this fallen world. Though unpleasant, focusing on sin’s consequences is necessary at times to remind us of the greatness of our salvation and to move us to obey God, even in the small things.
The first battle between faith and reason took place in the Garden of Eden. Spurred on by the serpent’s lies, Eve began to look at her situation from a purely logical perspective and decided that God was cheating her out of something good. Her faith faltered as “reasonable” thoughts of self-interest filled her mind (Gen. 3:4-6).
I am not saying that the way of faith is never logical, but if we operate only on the basis of reason, a conflict with the Lord is inevitable. That is because His instructions and actions don’t always appear reasonable from a human perspective. Although Isaiah 55:8-9 describes God’s thoughts and ways as higher than man’s, some people believe they know better than He does.
Paul emphasizes this by pointing out that God’s choices can come across as illogical by the world’s standards-His message of salvation seems foolish, and His messengers appear weak and unimpressive (1 Corin. 1:20-21). In an age that thrives on recognition, admiration, and importance, a person who believes the Bible is considered a weakling in need of a religious crutch to cope with life. But God’s Word explains the paradox: Recognizing their helplessness, believers lean on Christ so He can raise them to stand with Him in righteousness.
That day in Eden, sin and self-importance entered the human heart. But all the worldly wisdom that fuels our pride is nullified by God. He is looking not for great and impressive people but for weak, humble servants who can boast only in Christ. The Savior alone is their strength and wisdom.
That is a believer’s great treasure.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, December 3, 2016.