By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy
Obedient faith is what can save us
Placeholder Image
    If you’re a student of the Bible (and maybe even if you’re not), the story of Joseph in the closing chapters of the book of Genesis is one you’ve heard before.
    Joseph: the favorite son of his father Jacob. Joseph: who was given a beautiful “coat of many colors.” Joseph: whose jealous brothers sold him into slavery and caused their father to spend years in miserable, though useless, heartache.     Joseph: continually tempted unsuccessfully by his Egyptian master’s hedonistic wife, and thrown into prison when she unjustly accused him of abusing her. In short, this young man’s life is one of the most interesting and colorful stories in world literature.
    But more than interesting and colorful, the story of Joseph and his family centers on the vital biblical principal of obedient faith. It highlights the guiding standard which led this young man through this terrible succession of character checks.  
    All of us face difficult situations in life.  Many of them pale in comparison to the testing experienced by Joseph, but they are real, nonetheless. Temptations come in all “shapes, sizes and colors.”  Yours are not necessarily mine, and vice-versa.  Some trials are common to everyone, some are not.  In fact, Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” (1 Cor. 10:13)  Some trials are more severe than others, more long-lasting, more dangerous.  But regardless of the nature of our experience, an important key to our victory (if not, from the human perspective, the single most important key) is obedient faith.  
    Valid faith in God is always ACTIVE in seeking to follow his will. (Read James 2:14-26).  The presence of trials in life should lead God’s children to pray in faith for wisdom to profit from them.  That wisdom will, in turn, lead us to humble acceptance of God’s providence, and to the ultimate realization of our eternal reward (James 1:2-27).  This is obedient faith.  The Genesis record never specifically mentions Joseph praying during his ordeals.  Yet his every action exhibits his total dependence on the Lord.  Can we doubt he spent time on his face before his God?
    Disciples of Christ are faced with the daily reality of trial in living for God.  Love for God should produce in us the desire to succeed in facing that testing.  Involving attitudes as well as actions, our obedient faith will lead us through the mine field of Satan’s attacks, manifesting itself in doing right, regardless of the nature of the trial, maintaining faith and hope in God as our only salvation and working hard, doing our best in every situation we face.
    Larry Sheehy is the preaching minister at Statesboro Church of Christ. He can be reached at (912) 764-5269 or
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter