January 23 - Swallowed Up in Joy!


By Nancy Stevens

Today's Scripture: Genesis 46:1-47:31

Central Thought: Although we face difficulties and disappointments, God's promise will never change; heaven is a certainty.

    Jacob had accepted the bitter fact that he would never see Joseph again. His beloved son was dead. He knew the ever-present pain of this separation would be with him until he died.

    Then he received the unbelievable news that Joseph was alive in Egypt. Imagine the anxiety and confusion Jacob experienced as he set out for Egypt with his family, hoping that the news was true. At 130 years of age, he was taking a trip to a strange land, leaving behind all that he had known, and facing an uncertain future.

    God knew that Jacob needed some reassurance, so He spoke to Jacob in a vision, telling him not to be afraid. God would make him into a great nation, and Joseph would be with him when he died (Genesis 46:3-4).

    The moment Jacob laid eyes on Joseph would be fixed in his memory forever. Joseph 'threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time” (46:29, NIV). All the painful years of sorrow were swallowed up in that moment of joy!

    Joseph met with Pharaoh and obtained permission to settle his family in Goshen. Joseph would provide food and anything else his family needed.

    Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us, so we can be with Him forever. We have waited year after year for His return. His coming seems nowhere in sight, but His promise is sure. When He comes, all the disappointments, sorrows, and pain we have experienced will be swallowed up in His joyful embrace.

Devotional Prayer: Father, when we endure painful circumstances and become discouraged, please remind us that Your coming is certain and eternal joys await us.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 46:1-47:31; Matthew 15:1-28; Psalm 19:1-14; Proverbs 4:14-19