Readings: Genesis 50:15-21, Romans 15:1-7, Matthew 18:21-35
Paul tells us in Romans 15, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” I read that verse a few times and it struck me that hope does not come before we are in the midst of enduring something. Really? Shouldn’t we receive a good dose of hope before a life storm hits us? Paul tells us that when we look at the Scriptures, they can teach us and give us hope. One example is in our first reading from Genesis; it tells of Joseph forgiving his brothers for selling him into slavery. Joseph had dreams that could have brought both Joseph and his family hope for the future, but instead it caused turmoil and hatred. Joseph had to endure some terrible things during his life, yet as he endured, he did not seem to lose hope and he remained faithful to God. The Lord equipped Joseph to endure, serve, prosper, and ultimately save a great number of people, including his own family, from starvation. Maybe hope is like manna, and God gives what we need for the day. Do you know someone that could use some hope today? Maybe you could pray for their strength and endurance and send them some encouragement from the Scriptures. I pray that we, too, through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures might have holy hope every day.
Lifting you up in prayer