READ: Genesis 46-48
THINK: Every sports fan loves a come-from-behind victory-as long as their team doesn't come out on the short end. Perhaps it's the suspense of something unexpected suddenly becoming a reality. Christians, however, should not be surprised when God takes a no-win situation and turns it into a dream come true-He's been doing that throughout history. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28). It doesn't matter how hopeless or impossible a situation seems, God will accomplish His plans despite the most adverse circumstances. Often, He actually uses adversity to set the stage for His most memorable miracles. What better way to bring glory to God and build faith in His followers.
RESPOND: In what way did a seemingly impossible situation turn to blessing and fulfillment for Israel (Jacob) and his entire family? (See 46:1 note.) How can this affect your outlook and your faith in God? Why do you think God reaffirmed His promise to Jacob at this time? (See 46:3 note.) At what times in your life have you needed God's reassurance, and how did He provide it? How can people's misguided impressions of you work out for the best? (See 46:34 note.) In what way is life like a journey, and what does this mean in regard to your faith and focus? (See 47:9 note.) How did everyone (his family, the Egyptians, Pharaoh) benefit from Joseph's wise leadership during the famine? Why did Jacob insist on being buried "out of Egypt"? (See 47:30 note.) What was significant about Jacob claiming Joseph's sons as his own? (See 48:5 note.) Though Jacob had his failures as a young man, what kind of example did he leave for his children? (See 48:15 note.) God often chose a younger sibling to gain inheritance over the older. What does this reveal about God's plans and perspectives compared to ours? (See 48:19 note.)
PRAY: Pray for strength, endurance and faith to finish the course and journey God has set before you. Give God thanks for always providing reassurance at just the right time.
ACT: Think of a way in which people have misjudged you or denied you an opportunity that you thought you should have. With God's help, look for a way to turn the closed door into an open door that may lead to greater success and reward. Also, encourage a fellow follower of Christ who is going through a tough time.
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