Cling to Christ

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Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Cling to Christ

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

As we continue on in our study of Joseph's life, you can envision Jacob's agony the minute he supposed the worst about his beloved son Joseph and assumed him dead. On top of all the underlying problems this family was experiencing, now grief had been added - a heavy weight to be sure and an unnecessary one in this particular case. Parental grief is strong indeed; so strong that mourning is preferred above comfort, as we'll see in the last three verses of Genesis chapter 37…

And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, for I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.

We find here that Joseph's siblings attempted to comfort Jacob, but their efforts as comforters were insincere - especially since his sons consciously caused him this great grief! Had they really desired to comfort their father, they could have done it by telling him the truth! As we determined yesterday, truth brings healing and wisdom to every troublesome situation, while a lie only carries injury and pain. This falsehood of theirs was to hurt Jacob for the next twenty-two years! How long have you been hurt by the lies of your loved ones, or they hurt by yours?? Lying is a terrible thing for family members to do to one another! It places undue misery upon our hearts, misery that God never intended to be there! With deceit as a foundation in the liar's life, the ability to be truly compassionate toward others is hindered and the heart hardened toward those closest to them who are hurting. The statements made in a feeble attempt to comfort when comfort is truly needed will expose a liar's 'in-sin' -cerity…

Job 21:34
How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?

Though his sons and daughters rose to the occasion to console their father, Jacob refused to be cheered up. That seems odd, doesn't it? A good word should make a heavy heart glad. It does prove however, that great affection makes for greater affliction, for excessive love generally ends in excessive grief. Because Jacob favored Joseph so highly, he didn't share his fatherly attentions that his other children were lacking. Hence, Jacob didn't realize that he put Joseph in a position to be harassed by his brothers. Jacob failed to detect the deceit taking place under his very own nose, and he refused the love offering each family member tried to give him when his heart was broken.

Ladies, let's learn again from Jacob's example. It is the wisdom of parents not to look upon their children as idols, but as those who belong to the Lord, otherwise we will not survive under the hardships our kids suffer! There must be a balance to our love, beginning first with a proper affection for the Lord. Then we will trust Him with each of our children (and our husbands!) as we should…

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

There's no need for us to go through family trials like Jacob did, blind and blown away! Joseph might have been stripped of his coat, but Jacob was stripped of his spirit. Keeping our eyes upon God, we won't miss a thing, for then His design upon our lives and our family will be distinguished. True peace of heart is found in resisting unhealthy passions, not in satisfying them! There is no peace in the man or woman out of balance, or in the parent given to vain attractions for their children. There is peace, however, in the man or woman who follows wholly after the Lord…

Psalm 119:69
The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Are you balanced in your affections today, dear lady? Are you allowing the Lord to comfort you in the grief you are experiencing in your family right now? Or have you pushed God away? Are you refusing comfort because you have assumed the worst and are therefore determined to mourn the rest of your life over a particular problem in your home? There is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God. Sadly, Jacob purposed in his heart that he would go to his grave mourning, proof that he had not given up his will for Joseph's life - or even his own life - to the Lord. Not everything that is dear to us is pleasing to God. Ladies, we must learn to part with an intimate and much-needed friend or loved one for the love of God! You may think the real battle is in your home, but I daresay it is in your very own heart…

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Jeremiah 17:9-10
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins...

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he'll learn to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. Trust not in man whose purposes are continually changing, and who is set in motion only by motives of self-interest. Jacob's heart was tried but did he see what God saw dwelling there? Divine consolation is given in order to make us braver in enduring adversity, to keep us from giving up like Jacob did! Unfortunately, Jacob's comfort was in Joseph, not in God. Where do you find yours today, dear lady?? "He who clings to a creature will fall with its frailty, but he who gives himself to Jesus will ever be strengthened!" When God gives spiritual consolation, we must therefore receive it gratefully…

2 Thes. 2:16-17
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Ladies, the gifts of grace cannot flow in us when we show no gratitude to the Giver! Accept the Lord's will today for yourself and your loved ones and you will find it easy to accept His comfort! You and I won't miss what Jacob missed; we'll comprehend what's happening in our homes because the Lord operates for our good in whatever He allows to transpire. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything, as Jacob had to part with Joseph. Give up all your private affections, all other love for God, since our Lord wishes to be loved above all things. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to Him!

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

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