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November 27, 2020 3:00 am
The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis filled with injustice.
He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was falsely accused by his bosses wife.
He was wrongfully persecuted in a dungeon in Egypt and yet his reaction to these circumstances is very different from what we might expect today on Truth for Life Alastair big presents for ways we can approach unjust suffering. What do we need to note here about unjust suffering and the response of a person to unjust suffering. The first thing is this, do not be surprised when you suffer unjust. Many people are living with the mistaken notion that all will be well now that I have made my commitment door. I have endeavored to follow after Jesus because after all we've said to ourselves that is that Romans 828 nurse all things in all things God works for the good of those who love him and we have made that equal our benefit and our blessing and our health and our security and our freedom house. Frankly, we wanted to be. We made all package and put it all together in a bundle. So anybody who is living with that notion of what it means to be a Christian is going to be surprised by unjust suffering. Where did we get the idea. Where did we get a Christianity were Jesus does all the dying. Where to begin a Christianity, where Jesus is the only one the Bears across Christianity were Jesus is the only one who wears a crown, I tell you what we been getting the new test limitary.
I'm not a prophet nor am I the son of a prophet but I want to tell you why we better pay attention to this in this country. If you take the environment in which Paul was functioning in the Roman Empire.
You know enough about it to understand this, that in the Roman Empire.
You had a pluralist culture at always get confused by the word pluralism is the theory that the ultimate reality of the universe" and for my own notes now consists of a plurality of entities okay. Pluralism says that truth cannot be and is not in one dogma or any one person or in one entity. Pluralism says it is in multiple entities. Syncretism advances that and says it is in the blending of all of these entities that we come to a discovery of the truth and in that mindset there's always room for another God. And so there was an Roman culture they had the Pantheon, which was a just a big variety of God's very open culture willing to think expensively that he prepared for all kinds of religions solicited kind of strange that he threw the Christians to the lions be that in such a pluralistic open pantheistic culture you would have such unjustified suffering meted out on Christians, the Roman culture could not and would not tolerate Christianity because Christians were not prepared to add Christ to the Christians must inevitably say that there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby people are saved saved the name of Jesus of Nazareth acceptor for receiving an impress upon our loved ones and our friends. Christianity, on the basis of his pragmatic benefits. We press and are impressed by the fact of his evidential truthful news and if we in a pluralistic culture are going to be prepared to stand for these things and believe me, we better get ready not to be surprised at the painful trial that comes upon us because pluralists can only tolerate pluralists.
They cannot tolerate.
Indeed, they are mercilessly intolerant towards those who refused to subscribe to their agnostic and universal views and if you doubt that, go on a university campus.
If you doubt that, go on a high school campus. If you doubt that, see straight in your office or in your factory and your people will be with you right up until the point of the penny drops and the understand that what you're saying is Jesus is the way the truth and the life and nobody comes to the father except through him, and that phrase except through him, is anathema in a pluralistic world with. It is the culture of wrong on the culture of Cleveland. Secondly, don't throw in the towel. Don't throw in the towel Joseph in viewing his circumstances had every reason humanly speaking to say and I think I'll give up.
I might as well do what everyone else does.
I don't see this is working to my benefit.
I try do the right thing for my father. I get thrown in a pit. I try and be nice to my brothers and going check on them and they strapped me to the back of some mangy camel and ship me off into Egypt. I try and do the right thing there and I get thrown in the jail because of some perverse woman I really don't deserve this. I might as well give it a mess never succumb to that temptation. You feel like that and I really don't need to keep this up.
I don't think that anybody pays attention to it. In any case, I don't see that I need to keep purity in my marriage. I don't think that I need integrity in my tax returns. I don't think that there's any benefit in this et al. after all these rascals around me here they're doing it all wrong and are having a great time. I'm doing it all right and is the place says FB Meyer do right because it is right to do right and when you determined to do right because it is right to do right then when you're misunderstood ill treated.
When you are the victim of unjust suffering. You won't swear if you won't sit down. You won't whine and you will despair you see, that's the wonderful thing about Joseph, how is it that he is so absent whining surely like to get out. He makes of them makes a request to do so, but he not whine and moan are on a groan or a complainant because he determined to do the right thing and he said you know what I want to do the right thing no matter what it costs no matter where it puts me do right because it is right to do right back in Hebrews chapter 12 as the writer encourages those who work attempted to throw in the towel tempted to check it. He says listen let me tell you what the antidote is the antidote to faint heartedness and to reading this, consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You having a bad day. He says think of Jesus there people maligning you think of Christ you feeling like throwing in the towel given it up losing heart checking it consider Jesus after all.
Verse four in your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood, you haven't died yet he says could get much worse than it is what I do and I face unjust suffering.
First of all, don't be surprised. Secondly, don't throw in the towel. Thirdly, don't take revenge don't take revenge this the most litigated society in the world. There are more lawsuits here in these fair shore scenario place in the whole world is no time to make comments about attorneys, the always get rather tense in my story about their attorney called God Mr. Allred and all the way through his life.
He got people call them oddball and nods and swords and odds and ends, and every on the phone eventually determined that he would not have his name on his tombstone because he had been so plagued right in his life and want to be played by it in his death so he left instructions in his will that he should have an inscription on his tombstone that simply read here lies an honest lawyer be. We used to walk through and look at it and say that's on I just lighthearted Ray party is not a comment on the legal profession, but one of the reasons that society is so litigated is because people are so vengeful people are saying I'll get you. I will get you in the end, yes I will. I'll get you in the end OEM and that's not a love song nursing Romans chapter 12 in verse 19 gives the instruction with absolute clarity, you're in the face of unjust suffering. What should you do about what he says. Verse 17 don't repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody that's possible. As far as it depends upon you, live at peace with everyone and then look at this. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's Roth for it is written, it's mine to avenge, I will repay, says the Lord.
On the contrary, this if your enemy is hungry, feeding if he is thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good and everyday events of life when my children came home and was deeply upset and offended by something that happened in the school to the point of tears and heartache some triviality that loomed larger than their mound Tiger and the reaction was well I think one I'll never speak to them again or two if I do all this give him a piece of my mind real good as I've thought of some good applies to this. So we sat and I said you know, let me tell you what to do here. Write a note that simply says I'm sorry about what happened yesterday. I forgive you your my friend and sign your name no way you weren't there, you didn't hear you should have heard it you should see I go your way. If you want. That's my suggest following day I get a call in the office. Hello hey I did it.
What I've already forgotten.
I yeah I took the note what happened while I was in the bathroom. My friends came in and they were trying and they said were showing I said what you do sit, what we just hugged each other and just cried for a bit and then it was it was for said you were right that all of our disputes are just grown-up versions of things that happen in children's bathroom when you cut to the heart of it's all an extension of he said she said stuff marital breakdown is all about that as well. Do you know how much can be cured and prevented by paying attention to this in the face of unjust suffering instead of responding allied Cosmopolitan magazine. Instead of responding, allied the mind of the world respond.
The New Testament, but I shouldn't deserve this. We know, but I didn't do that. We know, but I shouldn't even be here. I should know why you send them a present from me crazy when Jesus was reviled it and revile in return when he suffered, he didn't curse them or threaten you find the same thing all the way through the Bible.
Now my in chapter 6 is trying to do a fairly decent job building the wall with God's help. They got opposition from outside opposition from inside opposition from inside outside back side front sight everybody scared him apart.
Now is a leader. First of all you hear the next minute is a bomb the first year the idolize you the singular criticizing the third year the ostracizing and it was all happening within the space of months. For now, my and they send him a letter and open letter signed letter and anonymous letter with multiple exposure the worst kind incidentally know what I do with anonymous letters page of that's my advice to you don't pay one bit of attention to elective or someone sign her name to.
I don't care is positive or negative, it is positive. You won't tell me who you are here scared me, and it is negative, and you don't tell me who you are and got no respect for you. The famous preacher in London at the time of Spurgeon, who was on the receiving end of anonymous letters as he was walking out into the pool with someone from the latter and he opened it was a folded sheet healed innocently said fool Pacific congregation said, I'm used to receiving these letters, there is usually a greeting without a signature. In this case I have a signature without a greeting. So what is now minute. He writes he says to the guys he says listen. Nothing like what you say is happening. You're just making it up out of your hands so responsive a clear conscience is the same thing you have by Paul in first Corinthians 4 there saying always things about Paul and why he's doing what he's doing.
He says listen I don't care if I'm judged by you or by any human court.
My conscience is clear. That is, made me innocent, but it does mean that I can sleep at night and the awareness of the fact that one day I'm going to be judged by God and the thought of being judged by God is a far more significant judgment than what misdirection Mrs. access to say about John Knox that it perfectly. John Knox, it was said of nonsense in Giles Cathedral in in in in Edinburgh. Many fear the face of God so much that he never fear the face of any man which was good because the used to throw stuff at Knox when he was preaching, stools, and effects of merchandise and everything. Sorry Jim, you know, like, as it says in two Corinthians 11.
As said let you take your Bibles and turn to.
It's a great great mistake to spend our lives trying to clear ourselves trying to justify ourselves trying to explain our motives and explain this and explain that and get all the scrambled eggs back up into the shallows and put them all in a nice formal over again. Forget it. Justice will be served.
Do not spend your life trying to clear your name is a wiser course of action to keep on with the task at hand to trust God to vindicate in due course that may be days, weeks, months, years, and maybe not until we get to heaven but I'll be fine. Last thing when you face unjust suffering what we say. I don't know I need to look, number one, don't be surprised. Number two. Don't throw in the towel number three don't take revenge and finally number four.
Don't miss the chance to help others when you're on the receiving end of unjust suffering. Don't miss the chance to help others is another wonderful thing that we find here in Genesis 40 into which will return the interest in the sensitivity of Joseph Didion a big problem certainly did he have a reason for a garage without question.
Could he have spent all of his life consumed with his own little problems. Absolutely. But what is he do verse six he notices that these two men are dejected. The reason he notices is because he's looking and the reason is looking is because he cares not only does he notice that there dejected, but in verse seven he cares enough to ask them why they're dejected and as we'll see next time he reveals the sensitivity of his heart in the worst of circumstances in caring for others who are on the receiving end of good news and bad peers. We might've forgiven and actually if he had said you know I've got so much trouble here. I know you had a dream. I know you got a problem in a you know I man since the age of 17 and's been going a decade now I'm 27 now I you know, I'm sorry I just don't have time to deal with this, but he didn't.
He didn't. Leslie Flynn, a pastor in New Jersey I believe wrote a little book on Joseph, and in the course of it.
He tells a story of a seminary professor who went into a deep depression so deep was the depression that he didn't actually care about anyone or anything. He been on the receiving end of criticism or something, and everything seemed hopeless in the course of a visit from a friend a friend challenged in to think of people in his life would be a major help to him and then from that list to select one and to write them a letter expressing his gratitude.
The man thought about it for some time before his mind's eye came the face of a schoolteacher than he had when he was a small boy, a schoolteacher who had instilled in them a love of literature, poetry, pros, and reading and ever thinking already decided to write her a letter he wrote her a note telling how she had inspired him with his great love of books and he received a reply in the shaky handwriting of a lady would been retired for many years dear William, when I read your letter. I was blinded with tears, but I remember you as a little fellow in my class you of warms my old heart I have taught school for 50 years. Yours is the first letter of thanks I received from a student and I shall cherish it until I die in a little sliver of light came into the dungeon of this fellow Williams life encouraging him to write another thank you note and then another one and another one and another one until he had written by hundred notes of gratitude and was no longer close to NFA that may be described as depression. Why because, like Joseph, he finally figured there's no reason for surprise, there's no reason to throw in the towel.
There's no reason for revenge and there is no reason to miss the chance to help others you in a bind in the moment a year in circumstances that known only to you and to God are closing you down like a dungeon and all the advice that you're getting from all around is fight your way out. Consider Joseph consider these principles and do what's right because it's right always to do right a powerful challenge from Alastair Begg in a message titled good news bad news. This is Truth for Life will today is a busy shopping day for many people, and let me mention something you'll want to consider putting on your list.
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