Staying Faithful (Part 3)

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34-36 ESV). If you were to visit the Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Texas A&M University, you would be greeted at the entrance with Veryl Goodnight’s “The Day the Wall Came Down” sculpture. It is a seven-ton bronze creation that depicts horses jumping the collapsed Berlin Wall. The sculpture symbolizes freedom from the tyranny that separated the people of Berlin since the end of World War II. It certainly is an incredible reminder of the triumph of democracy. However, the freedom gained with the tearing down of this wall is nothing compared to the freedom that comes to the child of God through the work of Christ. Jesus calls us to that freedom in our reading today. When he set you free, you are “free indeed.” Joseph came to understand that kind of freedom. As we study the life of Joseph it is tempting to only see Joseph’s heroic character and achievements. But God does not want us to miss the largely silent, desperate years Joseph endured. Imagine the pain of his brothers’ betrayal, the separation from his father, the horror of slavery, the seduction and false accusation by Potiphar’s wife, and the desperation he felt as his youth passed away in prison. You see, sometimes faithfulness to God sets us on a course where circumstances get worse, not better. It is then that knowing God’s promises and his ways are crucial. Faith in God’s future grace for us is what sustains us in those desperate moments. We all love the fairytale ending of Joseph’s story. And we should, because Joseph’s life is a foreshadowing of a heavenly reality. God sent his Son to die and be raised in order to set his children “free indeed.” We must remember that there is coming a day when those who are faithful, even to death will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (cf. Matthew 25:21). Your current circumstances, however dismal or successful, are not your story’s end. They are chapters in a much larger story that really does have a happily ever after. I would encourage you with the same words of the psalmist that we began with a few days ago: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Psalm 31:24)! The wall that stood for so long between God and man has already come tumbling...

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