“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)
I’ve been studying Joseph lately. I have two great books I’m using to read about his life and the lessons I can learn from him. From Dreams to Destiny by Pastor Robert Morris is what I’m reading now and The Joseph Blessing by Jordan Rubin is next on my agenda. Pastor Morris’ book was recommended to me when we first began our adventure in January and I have to say, it’s very encouraging.
I just finished the chapter about the Prison Test. And I wonder if maybe I’m not in the prison phase of our adventure myself. I was discouraged when I read that God used 13 years multiple times in the Bible to speak to different people, to teach them what they needed to learn. Joseph (13 years in prison), Abraham (13 years of silence but a full 25 years total from the time He promised Abraham a son with Sarah before that promise was fulfilled), and Paul (13 years from when he was appointed a prophet until he started his ministry). I know there were other people in the Bible who had to wait longer or shorter periods (anyone remember Moses living in the desert for 40 years before he wandered the desert for 40 years with the Israelites?) but to think about spending 13 years in a tribulation didn’t sound very fun. Then I also read that Joseph prolonged his prison sentence because of taking matters into his own hands and trying to get out of prison early instead of trusting and waiting for God’s timing.
However, the main point that I took away from the chapter in From Dreams to Destiny was this. Everyone will have trials/challenges in life. If you are alive, you will have trials. And we all have a choice about how we’re going to go through the challenges. I believe that I’m entering into the waiting phase…the God is working but I’m not seeing how phase and I have a choice how to proceed. I can continue believing that God has our best in mind and He is working and will deliver us from the trial in His time. I can choose to complain and grumble the whole time, looking for an answer through my own strength. Or, I can lay down and give up, give up on faith in God’s provisions and give up that life will ever get any better.
I’m choosing to continue to fulfill the assignments that I know He gave to me back in January 2014. I’m going to continue to offer each and every opportunity of employment to Him for His approval and see what His decision is – will He continue to provide for our family in miraculous ways or will He provide for our family through a temporary job while we wait for His best? I am going to continue to praise Him for closed doors because I know those aren’t His best for our family. I’m going to continue to keep the right perspective – we aren’t being punished. God is using this trial to prepare us for something greater, to build our perseverance, character, and hope. And, there are far worse things than loss of income our family could be dealing with so I’m going to continue to praise God through this adventure, knowing He has the answers.
Most of all, though, I’m going to keep on keeping on. Trusting, believing, praising, growing, and giving God all the glory for whatever answers He provides.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015