If you have committed to a relationship with Jesus Christ, you walk by faith and trust His promises for your life. Day to day, you see evidence of His grace in your life and you are thankful. Some days are happy and things are going well for you. But then there are those other days. The days when you feel like the ground beneath you has been pulled out from under your feet and you are going to fall hard. You might wonder, what is God’s purpose in this situation for me? You might even feel forsaken, set aside, and forgotten.
Remember the Bible account of Joseph? One day he was tending sheep, and the next thing he knew, his brothers were plotting his death and ended up selling him into slavery. He was soon looking up from a pit to see his own family members, who were causing him harm. His future had become unsure. They had forsaken him. Where was God when this was happening? I wonder what he was thinking while he was in that pit or while he was traveling to become a servant for Pharaoh’s guard. As the story unfolds, Joseph worked hard for his master and became a trusted member of his workforce. He might have been feeling a little bit situated after a short time, but then, boom! He is lied about and thrown into prison.
What now, Joseph? What was God doing in your life that day? We see in Genesis that God used him in the prison cell to minister to the needs of others. Look at this passage in Genesis 39: But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.
As we read further, we see some of God’s plan unfold. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams in order to save Egypt from a famine. He became second in command to Pharaoh and oversaw the kingdom. Although that is amazing, my favorite part comes a bit later in chapter 45, “So Joseph said to his brothers… ‘I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God.‘”
Joseph saw God’s overarching plan, not just for himself, but for his family and their heritage, and also for God’s glory. Joseph was able to be restored to his entire family and God used him in great ways, whether he was in a pit, in jail, or second in command in Egypt. Yes, his brothers forsook him and even meant to do him harm, but Joseph knew God was in control of his life and he continued to walk in His ways and serve him. In chapter 50 he tells his brothers, “Do not fear….. you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people[ should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
What about you? Are you feeling like you’ve just been thrown into a proverbial pit? Are you being forsaken? Where is God? Is He capable of working in your current situation for His greater good? Consider Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Not only does He have a purpose to fulfill in your circumstance, but He loves you steadfastly. A quick Google search tells us that steadfast= loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, true, and constant. Although you may not feel He is loving you steadfastly, HE IS. He promises that. And furthermore, He knows what the “work of your hands” might be today and that might just be to get up, shower, get dressed, and try to function the best way you can with His strength. Other days it might be getting a lot of things accomplished and your to-do list done. Either way, He will not forsake you or what you are accomplishing through His strength and for His glory.
What is God doing in your life today? If you are His child, He is fulfilling His purpose for you, loving you steadfastly and guiding the work that you do for Him. Give Him thanks and your trust. He loves you. If you don’t know God this way, you can. We can direct you to Scripture and to someone who can tell you about God and His love for you.
Sharon Fisher holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Elementary Education. She has 14 years of full time teaching experience in the elementary classroom, served as Curriculum Coordinator for Bob Jones Academy, and served as an elementary author for BJU Press. She has contributed to a variety of elementary educational materials and has presented workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of elementary-level subjects and teaching methods. She currently writes a blog and is Social Media Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist for HomeWorks by Precept, a provider of excellent education products, including BJU Press. She is the mother of four grown sons, a grandmother to Ben, and has a passion for encouraging Christian educators and homeschool parents to teach children with excellence and with a biblical worldview.