The AMI QT Devotionals for August 14-16 are provided by Joanna Tzen, who graduated from U. Penn and currently works in Philadelphia. Her husband Paul and Joanna attend and serve at Grace Covenant Church.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
“Without Holiness, No One will See the Lord” (Heb. 12:14) in Us
The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. 3 Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did.
In continuing the story of Joseph, we see that after his brothers sell him into slavery, Potiphar’s household purchases him from the slavers. It must have been a moment of great despair for Joseph. Nevertheless, before the Lord began to bestow favor and success upon him in Potiphar’s home, there is little doubt that Joseph himself sought the Lord in his despair. Which came first? David, when facing a similar situation of hopelessness, said, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all fears” (Ps. 34:4). David didn’t solve his problems with his own strength; neither did Joseph, whose help came from the Lord (Ps. 121:2). Subsequently, his faith became evident to Potiphar who saw that Joseph was not like other slaves; that is to say, Joseph’s faith was expressed not only through his words but also by his work ethic and character-driven conduct. So impressed was Potiphar that he “left in Joseph’s care everything he had” (Gn. 39:6).
What can we learn from this? First, our faithfulness to the Lord is not generated by ourselves, for Joseph was faithful because he understood that God was being faithful to him. Second, hardship is necessary for our transformation, for adversity forced Joseph to hunger after God’s presence. As he clung to God and learned about His faithfulness, Joseph underwent a total transformation in character. (Remember, there was a reason his brothers couldn’t stand Joseph, who freely boasted how one day he would rule over them.) Third, as Joseph realized His God was trustworthy and faithful to his promises, the Lord freed Joseph from his rightful bitterness, which in turn led him to remain faithful in His service under whatever circumstances: as a slave, a prisoner, and finally as a powerful ruler of Egypt. Understanding and resting in God’s promises frees us and allows us to be faithful in any present circumstance.
What difficult circumstances do you find yourself in today? Have you allowed the promises of God to penetrate your heart? Let us go to throne today and ask that He remind us of those promises.
Prayer: Father God, forgive me when I allow my heart to wander and make circumstances bigger than you. Remind me of Your promises and that if You have given us Your Son, what else would You not give us. Thank You that Jesus, who was tempted yet remained sinless, understands my present circumstance. Lord, help me to trust and rest in Your promises so that I may be faithful through my own struggles.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 2
Lunch Break Study
Read Genesis 15:2: But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.”4 Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” 5 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” 6 And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
Questions to Consider
- What was the Lord’s promise to Abraham?
- What is said about Abraham in verse 6?
- When we feel like our circumstances overwhelm God’s promises, what can learn from this passage?
- God promised to give Abraham an heir that would be his own son, through whom He promised many descendants.
- Abraham is called righteous because of his faith.
- It is about 10 years since the last time God spoke to Abraham about his promises, so Abraham’s doubt is understandable. However, Abraham chooses to turn to God in this time and God renews his hope with the reiterated promise. Abraham is credited with righteousness because of his faith, not his deeds. Let’s emulate Abraham in this way to turn to God when we are tempted to doubt, and be renewed in His promises.
Lord, I confess that I do not always feel like being faithful when my circumstances are not what I expected. There are moments where I am tempted to doubt your promises and even your goodness. Help me to see beyond circumstance and renew my faith in You.