Faithful in Tough Times?

Most of the characters in my books end up going through difficulties that test their faith. After all, it's easy to be faithful to God when things are going smoothly. We too often equate good circumstances with a good relationship with God, but that is not necessarily the case. Think of Joseph in the book of Genesis. When he first comes to Egypt (under dreadful circumstances), it goes pretty well:

“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.” Genesis 39:2-4 ESV

From our verses above, it looks as though things are going alright for Joseph. After the traumatic experience of being sold into slavery by his brothers, Joseph begins to see a glimpse of God’s plan for him in his new land. He had made the best of a bad situation and maybe even thought that life was as good as it was going to get. Since he was a foreigner, being in charge of a wealthy Egyptian’s household was not bad for a slave.

But if you read the rest of the chapter, Joseph’s tale goes downhill fast. When he was pursued sexually by his master’s wife and refused her, she falsely accused him of trying to rape her, which landed him in jail. He must have wondered where God was as he sat in prison. It must have seemed as though he couldn’t win.

Yet, even in prison he found favor with the warden and prospered there. Evidently, Joseph didn’t simply wallow in despair, but instead rolled up his sleeves and looked for what God had for him, no matter the circumstances.

No matter what you are going through, God is with you and wants to redeem your circumstances. He asks you to trust that he is doing something you can’t see. Take a cue from Joseph and look for what God has for you to do right now, even when things aren’t going your way. Perhaps the negative events surrounding you are leading you to some greater purpose he has for you. Ask him for patience and wisdom as you move ahead, and for your eyes to be open to the ways he wants to work in and through you. You may see God's power and majesty in a way you never have before as you trust him with the unknown.

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