Our eternal salvation is in God’s hands. Yet God appoints means by which He uses to keep us in the love of God, one of which is prayer. We build up our faith, we persevere in our faith by cultivating a life of praying by the Holy Spirit as we await Jesus’ return.
The prophet Isaiah proclaimed that God would lead his people from spiritual darkness to light by sending His Messiah. On them a light will shine and this light will bring a surprising joy that will break upon sinners through grace of Christ. He will be their Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The consolation that all our hearts are searching for is only found in Jesus. In vain we seek to find satisfaction for the longings in our souls- for awe and worship, for lasting joy and peace, for meaning and dignity- in the world. Jesus alone fulfills the universal longings in our hearts. Consolation can only be found in Him, a perfect Savior, because all we want is found in Him.
Despite Joseph's servitude in a land far from home, Egypt, he was not alone. God made his presence indisputable by divinely blessing his work for Potiphar, his master. Through these successful times and promotion God strengthened Joseph's faith such that when temptation came from his master's wife, he responded righteously. But his obedience to God ultimately resulted in his imprisonment and suffering. Despite Joseph's circumstances, Genesis 39 clearly shows that God was present with him, sustaining him, and working for his good. God was active in Joseph's life as he is active in our lives today. This chapter is an encouragement for Christians to acknowledge the many undeserved blessings God has given us, and to look at trials as opportunities for equipping and maturity.
Genesis chapter 38 is scandalous. The actions by both Judah and Tamar are shocking and horrifically sinful. Once again we are disappointed in the behavior of Abraham’s descendants and their reference for the covenant promises of God. We are reminded that in the Old Testament, there is only one hero, only one who is faithful and righteous and that is the Lord God. In spite of all the wickedness of his chosen people, God still faithfully establishes his plan of salvation.