We were privileged to welcome Joy Gascoigne from Grimethorpe Pentecostal Church this morning to speak at our Communion service. Joy spoke from Genesis 49 on ‘Keeping A Steady Hand.’ Here, we see Jacob wanting to speak blessing to his family. When it came to Joseph, he said that ‘his bow remained steady‘ (Gen 49:24). Archers attacked him, but his bow remained steady – a reminder to us that life has its ups and downs and often we feel overwhelmed by the tragedies around us, but we are called to stability in God at all times.
If we want a steady hand, we have to remember that God has not changed and is with us still. Joseph suffered much in life; his brothers’ betrayal when he was young radically affected all his life, but he found God was with him in the pit, in the prison and in the palace. The righteous may have many troubles (‘afflictions’, Ps 34:19), but God is still there with us through them all.
If we want a steady hand, we must learn to do what is right, even under pressure. Joseph is an example to us of doing the right thing (‘being made holy’) in potentially difficult situations, such as that with Potiphar’s wife. He retained his integrity at a difficult time. God is more interested in our character than our comfort. The world celebrates talent, but God celebrates character. We have to understand that God is at work in every situation in our lives. Joseph learned to recognise this, saying, ‘But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’ (Gen 45:7) He knew that God had been working for good in every terrible situation in his life.
Joseph’s story reminds us that God is not interested in the ‘quick fix.’ What he has started, he will complete (see Phil 1:6). It took time for Joseph to see and understand God’s purposes for his life, but in the end, he realised that God had been in it all. God is still at work in our lives. He’s not finished with us yet!