Friday, November 14, 2014

"He keeps a whole, tender, responsive heart through all the tumult, and trial, and agony...."

But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.
Genesis 39:21
And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.  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…”    
Genesis 45:7-8

I leave thee never; thou art not alone,
And with thine own and thee, Mine angels dwell:
Possess thy soul in patience; freely give
Me love for love, and all shall yet be well.

The time is short, they that now weep, ere long
Shall be as though they wept not: they that mourn
Be comforted, for I will comfort them;
And sweet shall be their glad thanksgiving song.
Elia from Lyra Mystica

        Harsh experience need not destroy the finest sensibility, the tenderest feelings of the heart.  Here is a man who has had twenty years’ very painful, almost unendurable, treatment; and yet, at the end of that period, he is susceptible of the tenderest influences, responds emotionally, with tears, with unutterable yearning and tenderness of soul, in the presence of his brethren… There is something for us to learn here.  Our harsh experiences often deaden our sensibility, work in us a sourness of heart and feeling which becomes misanthropic, selfish, resentful.  We learn from the history before us that it is possible to be exiled from home, ill-treated by relatives and friends, thrown into the way of pain, sorrow, loss and desolation; yet to come out of the whole process tender, sensitive, responsive to appeals which are made to our nature.  Why, there are some men who cannot overget the very slightest offence.  If they have not their own way in everything, they show their resentfulness in a thousand little ways, ~they become peevish, censorious, distrustful, ungenial.  You never meet them but they give you to understand that they have been insulted, offended, dishonored.  They have had to endure slight, or contempt, or neglect.  How little, how unutterably paltry, such men appear in the presence of the man who, after twenty years of exile, solitude, evil treatment of all kinds, weeps when he sees his brethren, ~keeps his heart through it all, ~has not allowed himself to become soured or misanthropic!  He keeps a whole, tender, responsive heart through all the tumult, and trial, and agony, and bitter sorrow of thirteen years ’vile captivity, and seven years of exaltation…  

The Peoples Bible-Genesis   

        Do you know by sad experience what Joseph felt beneath those Syrian skies?  Do the archers shoot at you?  Are you lonesome and depressed, and ready to give up?  Take heart!  see the trampled grass and the snapped twigs; others have gone this way before you. Christ your Lord suffered the same treatment from His own.  Go on doing right, in nothing terrified by your adversaries.  Be pitiful and gentle, forgiving and forbearing…Put down your feet into the footprints of your Savior, who left an example that we should follow Him.  He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: and yet, when He was unjustly reviled, He reviled not again; when He suffered beneath underserved contumely and reproach, He did not even remind the perpetrators of the righteous judgment of God, but was silent as a lamb, and threatened not, and committed Himself to Him that judges righteously.
And your time, sufferer, shall come at length, when God shall vindicate your character, and avenge your sorrows.  “Trust in the LORD and do good; He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday”(Psalm 37).


~This Devotional is dedicated to Pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned for his faith in Jesus Christ

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