Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:7 NLT
Have a blessed day!
Coat of many colors Joseph…
Family tension…Jacob (Joseph’s father) with two wives, who are also sisters…
Older brothers who are jealous of Joseph (Jacob’s favorite son)…
Joseph’s not doing too bad though…he’s got Jacob’s approval, a beautiful ornate robe, and he’s sharing dreams of others bowing down to him with his family.
And then the rug gets pulled out from under him.
I wonder if he ever saw it coming.
When life takes a turn we didn’t anticipate, what do we do?
In times of trials, we can choose to turn one of two ways…toward God, where we grow closer to Him and learn to trust, depend, and rely on God and His promises. Or, away from God, often blaming Him for our circumstances.
Joseph certainly could have turned away from God in this lousy turn of events…
It seems God’s timing rarely matches the time frame we would prefer. We’re an instant gratification society. From fast food to drive-thru everything, we don’t like to wait. Does anyone besides me get impatient if the internet is a few seconds too slow?
So, reading about Abraham and Sarah reminds me that the patience to wait on God’s timing comes through faith, trust, and hope. But better still is God’s grace for them as they struggled with impatience and took matters into their own hands.
Abraham (known as Abram at that time) was 75 years old when God told him to leave his country, his people, and father’s household, and go to a new land, where God would bless him and make him into a great nation.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Hebrews 11:8 NIV
Faith, as defined in The Story, is complete trust. True faith is much deeper than mere intellectual agreement with certain facts—it affects the desires of one’s heart. (The Story pg. 14)
In Abraham’s lower story, he didn’t know where God was taking him. He didn’t know how his obedience fit into God’s upper story, but he didn’t need to know. Abraham trusted God and wanted to be faithful, so he packed up and went.
Trust is the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. (NLT Study Bible, Tyndale)
Trusting God is knowing that what He says will happen. We might not know when or how, but we can be sure that God will always keep His promises.
Abraham trusted God, but the waiting and longing for a child had to be awful. What did Abraham think every time he saw the pain in Sarah’s eyes? How did Sarah respond when surrounded by the children of family and friends, knowing that a family was not in her future?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 NIV
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. Genesis 3:6 NIV
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NIV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 NLT
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11 NIV
So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. Isaiah 30:18 NLT
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 The Message
One of my most remembered time management lessons came from my 7th grade homeroom teacher, Mr. Mariani.
He always told us that if we waste our 10-minute homeroom period, twice a day, we were wasting 20 minutes a day—time that could be spent on homework or studying. By the end of the school week, we would waste one hour and 40 minutes. I don’t remember exactly, but I imagine he calculated it out further—he was also my math teacher for two years.
Now, I’m pretty sure I didn’t view talking with my friends for 10 minutes as a waste of time, but somehow, the lesson stayed with me all these years. (Too bad the math didn’t!)
For years, I’ve thought about not wasting 10 minutes here and there—sometimes to the point where I can’t give myself a break. I’m starting to wonder if making sure I’m not wasting time is just stressing me out!
Then it occurred to me...how I spend my time is not as important as with Whom I spend my time.
“Each of us can get to the point where we are worn out stewing over how God will provide for us. But when we come to the end of ourselves, Jesus…calls. 'Come away with Me,' He says. 'Find a quiet place with Me. Rest here with Me.'” –Sheila Walsh, The Shelter of God’s Promises
I pray that God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus! Philippians 4:19 CEV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
This is one of my favorite verses in Scripture, but sometimes I want to ask, “God, my life doesn’t seem to be going all that well right now. Is this what you have planned for me?"
Everyday life often doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why things happen, why people act the way they do, or why something doesn’t work out when I did my very best. I don’t know why some days are so difficult.
But here’s the thing…my life isn’t the complete story. It’s only a piece of God’s story.
Author and pastor Randy Frazee says to understand the Bible, we need to view it with a dual lens, one that allows us to see the Upper Story and the Lower Story. The Upper Story is God’s grand story of something larger—His eternal plans.
The Lower Story is our individual stories of everyday life—the struggles, the joys, the getting through the day-to-day. God’s Upper Story encompasses our Lower Stories.