Tag Archives: trials

The Next Thriller

The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.

Genesis 39:23b (NLT)

I love to read and one of my favorite fiction genres is action/thrillers. The story of Joseph in Genesis captures my imagination in a similar way. The twists and turns of the plot keep me glued to the story wondering what is going to happen next between the good guys and the bad guys. Typically, the bad guys are unknown to the hero but in this story, they are his brothers. Jealousy, vindictiveness, deceit, and cover-up define their actions as we watch them sell Joseph into slavery, ship him off to a foreign country, and lie to their father.

Joseph ends up in Egypt, his problems exacerbate, and he lands in jail. What could be a worse fate? And to top it off, his family and fellow prisoners think he is weird because he can interpret dreams. I’m sure this chain of events was not on Joseph’s “to-do” list.

However, the story does not end with doubt but with promise. Joseph trusted God and even when his future looked bleak, his good work habits, industriousness, and loyalty brought him positive attention. Eventually, even Pharaoh was impressed with the young man and his abilities and appointed him as second in command over all the land of Egypt. Without that authority, when a severe famine hit, he would not have been able to provide food for the whole earth, including all of his family in Israel. God does not make mistakes.

At times, we may question what is going on around us. Life is not fair. It’s too hard. I didn’t sign up for this. We question what God is doing but we can’t even see around a corner let alone months into the future.

God alone is the master of our destiny and all He asks is for us to trust Him. Joseph did not expect fame, nor did he seek it. But God placed him in a position of power for His honor and glory. What is God’s story for you? How is He preparing you for the next step?

Pay attention. Your story may be the next best seller in God’s story of faith.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

 

 

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Gas or Electric?

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)

It’s laundry day and piles of clothes are sorted on the floor of the laundry room. You know the process — load and start the washer, move wet clothes to dryer, fold and put away when dry. Easy peasy. Except when you push the button on the dryer and nothing happens. In the middle of all the piles to do. With wet clothes waiting. Not happy.

Our 10-year-old washer and dryer had begun to have problems and I repaired the washer about six weeks ago. I didn’t think about the planned obsolescence of these appliances at the time, but decided to not spend any more money on something with potential problems. Fortunately, it was the week of Black Friday and I found a good deal on both, with delivery in a week.

The delivery men were right on time. Old ones out and new ones installed — all ready to go. Again, I started the process. The washing part completed, I dumped the the wet clothes into the dryer. When the bell rang, the clothes were still very wet. I reread the instructions and restarted the cycle, however, they were still not dry. I called the delivery guy who drove back and reset the dryer. It’s a gas dryer and somehow the gas was not coming on when I started the cycle. He fiddled with something and then when I pushed the button, you could hear it start up and the gas begin to flow. Great and thank you very much.

But the next load had the same problem — no gas, no heat. Sigh. The good news is that a new dryer will be delivered tomorrow.

So what does this have to do with our verses for today? Life doesn’t always turn out the way we think or expect it to be. Jobs, health, marriages, friendships, church, elections offer unknown and unexpected challenges — often at the most inopportune moment. We have the choice to fall apart and get angry and frustrated or step back, pause, and pray. Without the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, much like the gas in my dryer, my efforts to “fix” things will fail. These very same trials have the opportunity to develop endurance, which leads to strength of character, resulting in hope.

I’m so grateful that I don’t have to navigate the storms of life alone. I know that I won’t encounter a busy signal or, worse yet, silence when I go to God in those challenging times. He listens and is faithful to be by my side and within me by the power of the His Spirit.

I didn’t trust that another gas dryer would work properly so I ordered an electric one. But I never have to worry that the power of the Holy Spirit will fail. He is dependable, available, and always has just what I need.

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