Sunday, April 27, 2008

Humanity in Sin Part 48: Joseph in Prison

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on 16th March 2008 in Newton Life. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: Genesis 40

Without trials and challenges, our lives would be very scary. We would never have victory in life if we never go through difficulties. God allows all kinds of trials to purify us.

We cannot say that we would do our responsibilities when the circumstances favor us. Joseph never complained to God but continued to do all his duties faithfully in the most difficult times. We should proactively influence our surrounding. That is how Joseph won over evil. That is how light shines in darkness. A prison becomes like heaven because of the influence of a righteous man. On the other hand, a palace can become like hell because of the presence of wicked people. We should not blame our circumstances but wherever we go we should actively influence our circumstances.

Joseph was favored by the prison supervisor and was once again be entrusted over the prison affairs. He interpreted the dream of the king’s cupbearer and baker. He was a prophet, i.e. God’s spokesperson who spoke the message of God. He was so God-fearing that he was faithful to interpret both the good and bad dreams. He asked to be remembered when the cupbearer was released, implying that he really felt the suffering of unjust treatment. But the cupbearer forgot about him once he was released.

But Joseph was patient. God enables His people to sing praises in the midst of darkness. No matter how much the suffering, it is temporary and it would pass some day. There is a purpose in sufferings that we would understand some day. In all circumstances, as Christians we need to learn to love what God loves and hate what God hates.


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