Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Love

The Love of God
A devotional by Patricia Russell

"And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you." 
– Genesis 45:5 (NIV)

How do you know you are loved?

Do you get text messages, cards, or is your love language when a friend spends time with you just listening and chatting?

I am incredibly grateful for my dad, who showed us that he loved us by doing things for us. We didn’t always see it then, but looking back, it was his way of telling us he loved us. He would prepare our breakfast and leave it on the counter before going off to work.

We could wake up to bowls of porridge or oatmeal covered up for us to dive into before heading out off to school. Like a good father, he prepared for us.

God demonstrated His fatherly love in the book of Genesis. We read about the life of Joseph in the Bible in the full chapters of Genesis 37, Genesis 39 and Genesis 45. Joseph is separated from his family at the hands of his brothers, who were desperately jealous over their father’s love for him, the way that he showed his love and then Joseph’s gift of dreams. Joseph wasn’t totally smart because he constantly shared his dreams, which didn’t make his brothers look good, but that’s beside the point. As a result of their wicked hearts, Joseph’s brothers got rid of Joseph by selling him to some travelers, who sold him to the Egyptians, where he was placed as a slave to Pharaoh. Through a series of events, none of which Joseph could have ever planned himself, God allowed Joseph to be promoted from a prison cell to a position in the palace because of his gift of dream interpretation.

Can I tell you that God loves you so much that he will go ahead of you and prepare opportunities for you to use your gift? Keep in mind though that God is more concerned with building character in our lives because He loves us so much and wants us to reflect the image of His Son. So, when hard times come, when we cry out to Him and ask Him to help us learn the lessons we need from the situations, we grow and develop a greater character that reflects Christ. As this happens, more opportunities can be entrusted to us to use what we’ve learned to receive blessings and be a blessing.

Yes, God will go to such extremes to show us His love. Later on, in the historical account, life would have it that Joseph’s brothers have to come to Egypt, where he is now the distribution director for all the food in Egypt because of a famine that has spread nationwide. The brothers do not recognize Joseph. When Joseph reveals his identity, you can imagine the shock, the fear and the anguish that came over his brothers. Joseph tells his siblings this very important note that we too can hold on to. Let’s read about it in Genesis 45:5-8 (NIV) where Joseph says this to his brothers:

“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”

God allowed everything to happen to preserve life. Joseph’s brothers acted in a way they meant for evil, but God used it as part of his plan to send Joseph to Egypt in order to carry out a bigger plan that He had already put into place without them having any comprehension.

Are you struggling right now? Are you concerned about how it’s going to work out? God has gone ahead of you, and He has it all in control. You can trust Him.

Let’s Pray: Father God, thank you that I can confidently come to you knowing my life is in your hands. Thank you that you work all things according to your purpose. I don’t have to worry, but I can trust you at all times. Thank you for this hope and this trust. Help me to keep my eyes and heart on the truth of who you are according to your Word. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Note from Alexis:
Patricia’s devotional reminds me of this song “How He Loves Us” by Kim Walker-Smith and Jesus Culture. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Patricia is an encourager. She passionately uses her gifting as an author, speaker, pastor, recording artist, worship leader and coach.

Stronger Resilience: Stories to Empower the Mind, Body & Spirit (a book that she wrote) was an Amazon Bestseller in October 2020.

Patricia sings! She has released two CDs titled Draw Me Nearer and Lord I Trust You.

She also travels to speak to audiences internationally.

When she is not ministering to save souls in God’s Kingdom, Patricia enjoys reading, writing and connecting like-minded people who can sharpen each other in the journey to their dreams and goals.

As a two-time breast cancer overcomer, her desire is to coach others to live life to the fullest by understanding their gifting from God and using it.

Connect with Patricia:

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