Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Perseverance


I don’t know how Joseph did it. How did he persevere year after year, no matter what came his way?

Remember Joseph? Son of Jacob, beautiful coat owner, second-in-command to Pharaoh.

Joseph—sold into slavery by his own brothers, servant to the Egyptian officer Potiphar, thrown into prison for refusing his master’s wife. (Genesis 37, 39-41)

Remember that Joseph?

I reread his story often, and every time I ponder it a little differently. Joseph’s story is one of faith, strength, obedience, and…perseverance.

That’s what I’m thinking about today—Joseph’s perseverance.

My One Word for this year is persevere, and I find that I’m thinking about it more now than I did at the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s because I’m tired and I’m wondering what I’ve learned. Or perhaps it’s because I’m hoping God shows me a better new word for 2017.

According to my Tyndale NLT Study Bible, to persevere means to endure hardships with patience and steadfastness.

The word alone sounds hard, before even thinking about its implications. Don’t you think?

Persevere.

I wonder if the word ran through Joseph’s mind like it does mine. Surely there had to be a time or two when he wanted to ask Why God?!? Why does this have to be so hard?!?

But the Lord was with Joseph…

Joseph knew it, and others saw it. (Genesis 39) We read about it, and as a story, we see the difficulties and the happy ending. We don’t see the day-to-day.

When I look back on situations from years ago, I can see how God was right there—walking with me, holding me up, and giving me strength to persevere.

But in today’s difficulties, sometimes it’s harder to see God by my side. I know He’s there and He’s never stepped away, but my vision isn’t as clear looking forward as it is when I look back.

I wonder if Joseph had days like this too. He sat in prison for years, and even though he’d found favor with the prison guard, at least some of the days had to be long, dark, and lonely.

Joseph knew God was with him. He endured the hardships and persevered through the mess he was in. My mess is no dirtier than Joseph’s and the hardships are no greater.

I know God is with me like He was with Joseph. Which means…

If Joseph could persevere, so can I.

(And so can you.)

In Christ,
Laura 

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Linking up with: Moments of Hope, #DreamTogether, #TellHisStory, #RaRaLinkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Thought Provoking Thursday, #HeartEncouragement, Grace & Truth, #FreshMarketFriday, Faith 'n Friends

4 comments:

  1. Joseph is a story I return to often, too, Laura! Thanks for drawing out this point today. I especially appreciate your statement about vision being clearer looking backward. I can say amen to that!!

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  2. Persevere is a rich, deep word and I am sure you have learned so much through that word! (My OneWord this year was Change... The year after that was my Honeys' word... so I'm ready for something easier!) ;)

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  3. Thanks for sharing this—Joseph's story is pretty amazing. I figure he must of been incredibly patient, too. Persevering does sound like hard work ;) but it's always, always worth the effort! Thankful for God's strength in it all... stopping by from #GodSizedDreams

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  4. The truth of scripture manifested in your life is a beautiful thing to see, Laura. Blessings to you as you seek a new word from Him for 2017.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!