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Just as a power tool can do nothing without electricity but a lot with it, so we can do nothing without Jesus but so long as we remain in him we can bear much fruit. He chose us, and all we have to do is to remain in him and allow him to prune us.
Jesus rescued us not just from the darkness in the world around us, but also from the darkness in our own hearts. We can walk in darkness or we can have the light of life by following Jesus and obeying his teaching.
God loves the hungry, he tests those who have all they want, and even when we go through difficulties in this life he satisfies those who believe in him. So let’s not just seek good things, or good works, or miracles, but instead, seek God himself.
Following Jacob’s death, the brothers wonder if Joseph has really forgiven them. He has: and followers of Jesus need not ask the same question of God - they have been totally forgiven by him. Christians don’t need to live with a nagging sense of guilt but can know the fullness of God’s grace and peace.
Joseph tests his brothers to see whether they have changed or whether they will allow Benjamin to become a slave. Judah shows that he has changed, and is willing to bear Benjamin’s punishment himself - just as Jesus bore our punishment.
The foxes represent small things that might be overlooked, but in fact are destructive, distracting or discouraging. We should catch them by staying close to the King (Jesus) and his bride (the Church).
Jesus sends us to make disciples - we are to go, we are to baptise, we are to speak about Jesus and we are to teach others. He commissions us even when we doubt, and he promises to be with us.
Click here to hear the linked Vision Night session on this subject.
How do we live by faith in dark times? We should keep on praying. Like Habakkuk, we should recount what God had done in the past, not become detached from the troubles around us, and commit ourselves to rejoicing whatever happens.
Habakkuk confronts God when it looks as if God has forsaken the covenant. Like him, our faith should enable us to wrestle with God when we are perplexed. This involves taking the problem to God, being honest with God about our questions, not prescribing the answers, and learning to wait when God does not respond straight away.