Friday, November 15, 2013

Waiting While God Works

I’ve been reading You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado (full book review). This book parallels the life of Joseph and his journey from the Pit to the Palace with our lives today and the struggles that we are going through. I am really enjoying this book and I hope that after I finish reading, I will remember and continue to apply some of the things that I am reading.

Chapter 6 in the book is called, “Wait While God Works”. This chapter points out something that most of us probably don’t consider when we read about people like Joseph. Joseph’s journey was a long one. His troubles weren’t quickly resolved. One thing Max Lucado points out is the verse in Chapter 39 of Genesis, “Now Joseph went down to Egypt”. It would have taken Joseph at least a couple of months to walk the 750 miles from Dothan to Thebes. So in six words, we are covering a couple of months’ time.

Then Joseph spent days or even weeks on the Egyptian auction block, a decade in Potiphar’s House, and over two years in prison. In Genesis 40:14–15, Joseph asks the butler to remember him as he was being released from prison and to put in a good word for him so he could get out of prison. The butler agreed to do that. Chapter 41 begins this way: "Two years passed and Pharaoh had a dream".

“Joseph’s story appeared to stall out in chapter 40. Our hero was in shackles. The train was off the tracks. History was in a holding pattern. But while Joseph was waiting, God was working. He assembled the characters. God placed the butler in Joseph’s care. He stirred the sleep of the king with odd dreams. He confused Pharaoh’s counselors. And at just the right time, God called Joseph to duty. He’s working for you as well.”

Max Lucado. You’ll Get through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times (Kindle Locations 1071-1073). Thomas Nelson.

It is really easy when hard times come for us to feel like God isn’t working on our behalf. It is easy to think that He has forgotten us and our troubles. It is easy to feel like our pain is in vain. None of those things are true!

This chapter also reminds us about Daniel. Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days asking God to deliver his people from a seventy year oppression they were battling. Finally on the 22nd day and angel appeared to Daniel. Do you know what the angel told him?

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Daniel 10:12-13 (NKJV)

Did you catch that? God heard Daniel and sent help on day 1. Why did it take 21 days for help to arrive? A principality (an evil spirit) had delayed the angel. It took the chief angel, Michael to come help him break free from the principality and continue on to complete the mission of helping Daniel.

Sometimes delays are due to God's timing and His plan for our lives, but sometimes, they are due to the spiritual forces that do not want us to break free, forces that want to keep us bound. Friends, we are in a spiritual battle that you cannot see. You can sometimes feel it, but you can’t see it. Often times we want to think that God didn’t hear us, or that He doesn’t care about what we are going through. That is just simply not true.

Troubling times come (and if they haven’t for you yet, they will). Satan wants them to derail us and to make us turn away from God. God wants to use them to make us more Christ like and draw us closer to him. All of the sufferings of this life are but a speck in time in eternity (even though it may last years on earth).

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

You’ll Get Through This!! It may not be today, tomorrow, or the next day. For some of us unfortunately, it may not be until we stand before God in Heaven. If that’s you, find comfort in the fact that the years here on earth are but a blink of an eye compared to an eternity in Heaven with Him! Don't give up, so that you can make it to Heaven with Him and enjoy an eternity of peace and joy.

If we give up and we turn from God, our eternity will be far worse than our current sufferings. Wouldn't you rather cling to God and know that an end to the pain is coming rather than ensure an eternity of pain and suffering without Him?

God's plan is bigger than ours. Look at Joseph. Joseph had a good life before his brothers sold him into slavery, but he never would have dreamed that he would be second in command of all of Egypt. Those were God's plans for him!! Joseph, throughout his entire life, never took any credit. He continually gave glory to God. He didn't grow bitter of his circumstances. He trusted God and took life and all that came with it, one day at time.

We serve a God who can take ordinary people and use them in extraordinary ways. He can do that, when we trust Him and walk in obedience.


  1. Oh soooo true! Thank you for the reminder and encouragement! I did a similar themed post called "Living Life in Limbo-land" It sounds like so many of us are walking through these types of things - often feeling's so good to know we're not! God Bless!!

    1. So many people are struggling right now! Awesome, amazing, sold out for God, people. We have to hold on and help each other hold on in the process! Be blessed!!