1 minute reading time (280 words)

Fruitful in the Land of Affliction

Dear Quail, About mid-way through the story of Joseph in Genesis after years of betrayal, abandonment and abuse, Joseph is promoted to assist the Pharaoh and prepare the nation for the coming famine. That is fantastic, but it is not the only blessing that came his way! He also marries and that marriage produces two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Genesis 41:52, “The name of the second child he called Ephraim, ‘for God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.’” ESV

The name Ephraim sounds like the Hebrew word for “fruitful.”

What strikes me here is that even with the blessings that are now coming his way, for which Joseph is rightly thankful, he still recognizes Egypt as the land of affliction. Thus, he shows us that affliction and gratitude can go together and, when they do, great things can be accomplished; we can be fruitful.

Gratitude gets us through the hard patches of life and redirects our attention away from the problems, toward God’s past accomplishments. As we remind ourselves of His past blessings, our hearts and minds are recalibrated to a more optimistic, more faith-saturated position.

Gratitude enables us to bear fruit that will be the blessing that God wants for us for years to come. In Joseph’s case, it was his sons, but who knows what that blessing will be for you!

We have lost a lot during this pandemic. Even if we have not fallen ill, it may feel like we are living in the land of affliction. Let’s spend some time recalibrating our hearts by rehearsing in our minds what we have to be grateful for. As we do that, the fruit will follow.

God Works by Appointment
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Friday, 18 September 2020

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