Life is full of ups and downs. I’ve laughed and loved through seasons of fun, blessing, and fulfillment. I’ve been surrounded by friends and thriving in ministry. I’ve also found myself dealing with unexpected betrayal, loss, and heartache.
As I write this, I’m facing a season I cannot fully put into words. It’s like everything I pictured that would be, should be.... simply isn’t right now. Do you ever feel like you are grasping for something that seems to be just out of reach? Or that your life looks like less than you thought it would be?
In life, we all face seasons of disappointment. We wrestle with insecurities, relationship issues and we can feel isolated and alone.
It’s at these times that we can learn from those who have gone before us. We may not see what God will do in our lives yet, but we CAN be encouraged, inspired and challenged by stories of His power at work of faithful people from our past. They offer us a glimpse in hindsight of the victories He might just have waiting for us.
Consider Joseph. He was a young man who was hated by his brothers. They were filled with bitter envy that led to a cruel betrayal. He was sold into slavery, wrongly accused, and thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t commit. His life went from one bad circumstance to the next. He did nothing to deserve the seeming tragedy his life had become.
So how did he keep such a humble heart through it all? How did he continue, every single step of the way, to trust the Lord? The Bible says in Gen 39:2 “God was with Joseph.” In the dirty prison, God was with him. In the gutwrenching betrayal, He was there. In the loss of all his family, friends, and comfort, Joseph never lost faith. And God never left him. Year after year as it grew more bleak, lonely, and unfair, Joseph remained faithful. Joseph honored God through every single trial and because of his faithfulness, the Lord did what no one could have imagined.
Out of the darkest situation, God turned Joseph’s life into one of the single most powerful stories of redemption.
When all Joseph could see was prison walls, God saw beyond. When all Joseph could see was another betrayal…. God saw another piece of the plan falling into place. God always sees what we cannot. He saw the end of the story. He knew thousands of people would be in desperate need of rescuing from famine. What seemed like a never-ending life of disappointments was actually God positioning Joseph to save countless lives.
This story should fill us with hope! Sisters—may we be reminded that God sees beyond our “right now.” His ways are higher, His knowledge greater and we can choose to believe that He does work ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
If you’re struggling with discouragement, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Do not give up. Chose to hold on to hope that God is still working and He’s not done with your story just yet!
2. Remember who our God is. Think back on all the times He has come through for you, what He’s already done in your life, and thank Him for it!
3. Let go of control. It’s not our job to figure it all out. It’s our responsibility to have a posture of humility and to trust God to do what only He can do.
4. Forgive those who hurt you. Entrust your story into God’s hands and don’t allow unforgiveness to hold any part of you captive.
5. Keep offering yourself to God, even in the darkest seasons. He may just want to use you in your mess more than in your times of strength. We don’t have to have it all together for God to move powerfully through us.
I believe Jesus wants to transform the disappointments of your life the same way He did for Joseph. You can claim victory in Jesus’ name. God has the final Word. He still can part the Red Sea you are facing. He still can make a way.
Nicole Wiencek believes in dreaming big and working hard. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband and their three children. You can find her new study Joseph—Found Faithful Even When Life is Less Than here.