“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. So, Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.” (Acts 7: 9—10)


            This part of Stephen’s testimony against the mob of his people speaks about a powerful event in the life of Joseph.  Stephen was giving a defense against the charges that we leveled against him.  Stephen’s defense was based on historical facts recounting the beginning of the history of the people of Israel.  The Israelites were always in trouble rebelling against the ordinances of God.  Stephens did suffer and was eventually killed by his people, the Israelites. 

            Joseph, too, suffered at the hands of his brothers, who sold him as an enslaved person in Egypt.  The same scenario with a different outcome.  Even though he was going through troubles with his own brothers, Joseph was rescued by God.  God was with Joseph, and he saved him from ALL HIS TROUBLES.  God gave Joseph WISDOM AND ENABLED him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh. 

            In Contrast, God was with Stephens, but God did not rescue him from the mob who took his life.  Stephen was chosen as the leader to solve problems because he was mighty in the Holy Spirit.  Yet, God did not spare his life from the mob that killed him.  The question I often struggle with is, why does God rescue some of his children but allow some of his children to go through challenges that lead to death? 

            My only understanding is that I existed for God’s purpose.  The life I now live is no longer mine.  My life belongs to God, who will use my life for whatever purpose he wishes.  When I gave my life to Jesus, my prayer was, Lord, do your will in my life.  I realized that it is daring and sometimes feels outright crazy.  But that is the meaning of my prayer: God’s will be done in my life. 

            I was a dead man before I came to Jesus.  The apostle Paul said that his life is no longer his but Christ’s.  My prayer is that my life will continue to reflect what it means to have the will of God done, and yes, that includes how he wants me to end. 


            I desire to live out this life that Christ has given me, and I have no concern about how I ended.  If my assignment in life includes death, then may the will of God be done.  I do not choose how I end my life or when my troubles will end.  I do not wish for problems or death, but if it is in God’s will, I will gladly let his will be done.  I will trust him with this life that he has given me to live and will submit to his purpose as long as I live.  He is the one who rescues one and allows the other to face even death for his purpose. 


            Jesus, I am grateful for the reminder of your purpose in this life you are living in me.  Please help me to see what will be done in all situations and circumstances I find myself in.  Please help me to walk in humility before you and to submit to your will daily.  Forgive me for the times I try to take back the reins of this life you have given me.  Take my life and let it be consecrated to you and for your purpose.  Amen!