How are you? How has your week been?
I can’t believe it has already been three days since the retreat! Time flies, doesn’t it? Well, even though the retreat is over, I pray that the blessings from the retreat have not ended. I hope that you will continue to meditate on the sermons we’ve heard and deepen the relationships we’ve started/grown at the retreat.
For me, I’ve been thinking about the last sermon on Sunday when Pastor Harold had us go through the life of Joseph. Talk about a messed up situation!
His brothers had a broken relationship with his father (Jacob) since his father had a broken relationship with his own dad (Isaac). Joseph’s brothers hated him and sinned against him. Joseph went through one broken situation after another.
However, look at what Joseph says at the end of Genesis: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” (Genesis 50:20)
This is the hope that we have with our broken and sinful lives with our broken and sinful relationships in a broken and sinful world. God is in control. He is sovereign.

As Pastor Harold quoted John Newton: “Everything is necessary that He sends, nothing can be necessary that He withholds.”

This is our hope. This is the God we trust in. And this is the God who loves us.

How can we possibly say that He loves us when we are in the midst of suffering under His control? It’s through Christ and the cross.

Joseph points us to Jesus. He went through immense suffering, which resulted in the salvation of his people from famine. Jesus went through immense suffering as well, which resulted in the salvation of his people from the wrath and curse of God.

But in Jesus’ case, He went through the ultimate suffering: death on the cross. He bore our sin and shame so that we may be saved from it. He bore our punishment and paid it all for our salvation.

This is how we know that God is in control AND He loves us. It’s the cross. This is the foundation of our hope and life.

Heidelberg Catechism Question #1: What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul,

in life and in death to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,

and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head

without the will of my Father in heaven;

in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life 

and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

Are you feeling the weight of your brokenness today? Can you relate with Joseph being in a broken, sinful family in a broken, sinful world? Are you starting to doubt God’s sovereignty or His love?

Take a moment today and this week, and meditate on the cross. Look at Jesus submitting to the will of the Father by laying down His life for you. Be rooted in this love, and trust in the Lord in the midst of your brokenness.

See you on Sunday for Lord’s Day Worship. Prepare your hearts for the Lord’s Table. Pray for our ministry and for one another!

In Christ,

Pastor Tim

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