Today’s Tasting: Genesis 43-45: These chapters in Genesis are a continuation of the story of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers. In this section of Genesis we discover that Joseph has prospered beyond belief despite the circumstances he found himself in through no fault of his own.
Today’s Nourishment: How many times have things in your life turned out to be good despite how terribly they may have started out?
Joseph had to have been devastated by what his brothers had done to him but his faith in God did not waiver and as a result he prospered even under the very difficult circumstances that he was forced into. I know that there have been many times when I thought my life as I knew it was over and I couldn’t imagine how I would ever survive the challenges that were in front of me. While the circumstances may have been a struggle at the time, when I look back I can see that God was at work in my life and that those challenges helped to transform me into the person I am today.
We all have our struggles—some as a result of our own decisions, but some are a result of decisions made by others. The key is to find the opportunity in those situations. But how do you discern what that opportunity is? The answer to that is easy … through prayer! Through prayer, we have a unique avenue for communicating with God and allowing him the opportunity to teach us and guide us through the transformational process so that we can live up to the potential for which we were created.
Joseph could have easily given up and resented his brothers—and God—for the circumstances in which he found himself. He could have been an average slave and done just enough to survive. He could have lived his life angry at the world and at God. Instead, he gave his very best to his master and trusted in God’s plan, and as a result his circumstances turned out to be greater than he could have ever imagined.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I gave the matter of trust a second thought, especially as it related to God. I mean, I have faith, I study my Bible, I go to church—how could I do all these things and not have the kind of trust that Joseph had? Well, guess what? I discovered that trust is completely different from faith, worship, spiritual disciplines, and so on. The dictionary definition of trust is a belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, and effective. Trust in God requires us to believe in His reliability, goodness, and honesty, and to release control of our lives to Him. That was a very hard pill for me to swallow. Surely I trusted God—didn’t I?
After some serious soul searching I discovered that I wasn’t truly trusting God. I thought I was but in reality I was only giving lip service to the concept of trust. Through much prayer and contemplation I realized that I wasn’t trusting God to be reliable, good, honest, and effective. The reality is I was still trying to be in control of everything. I could not, as the saying goes, just “let go and let God.” I felt I needed to help him along—to participate—to do my part.
Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still, and know that I am God.” In other words, we don’t always have to take matters into our own hands. By being still, we are trusting that God is reliable. By being still, we are trusting in God’s timing. By being still, we are allowing God to lead the way. By being still, we are opening our hearts to the magnificence of God’s plan.
Trust is my mantra for 2015. When I find myself stressed or wondering what to do next or how to get through whatever is going on in my life at that moment I remind myself to TRUST.
God’s plan is grander than our wildest imagination and his ability to bring that plan to fruition is greater than a lifetime of effort on our part.
How are you at praying and trusting Him?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Genesis 46-47