Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Is THIS Your Plan, Lord?

The Old Testament account of Joseph’s life demonstrates a New Testament scripture that is quoted quite frequently. Beginning in Genesis 37 and ending with chapter 50, Joseph’s story tells how God can work together ALL things for the good of those who love Him—those whom He has called according to His plan. (Romans 8:28)

Out of jealousy, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. He is then re-sold to an Egyptian ruler, who has him jailed on false accusations. While imprisoned, he helps out a fellow inmate, who then forgets all about Joseph once he is released.

However, God used all of these trials and tribulations to bring about good, not just for Joseph but for the entire region and for his own brothers who had sold him off! God placed Joseph in a position of power for this specific purpose.

Did Joseph enjoy the process of getting to that place in his life? I highly doubt it. Slavery is full of pain and fear and hard work. Prison is no better. Despite Joseph following hard after God and doing his best at whatever he was asked to do, he still endured suffering. Even just the separation from 11 brothers and his father would have weighed heavily on his heart.

I really doubt he could see God’s hand at work at the time his brother’s sold him as a slave. I find it hard to believe he would recognize God intervening when he was falsely accused and thrown in prison. But he remained faithful to God.

It is difficult, when we are facing a challenge or traversing a rough road that seems to only lead further into adversity, to realize God has a plan and is working it out. It is only when we come out on the other side that we even begin to see a faint shadow of the path God has mapped out for us.

When we find it difficult to see God at work in our lives, how do we remain faithful?

Psalm 63:1-2 says we go to church and look for Him there. We hope to hear stories there of how God has brought others through.
O God, you are my God. At dawn I search for you. My soul thirsts for you. My body longs for you in a dry, parched land where there is no water. So I look for you in the holy place to see your power and your glory.

Job 9:4 reminds us not to blame God, despite how bleak things may look.
You, my God, are wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against You and prospered?

Hosea 6:1 invites us to turn back to God, to acknowledge His presence and power and plan.
Let’s return to the Lord. Even though he has torn us to pieces, he will heal us. Even though he has wounded us, he will bandage our wounds.

God is trustworthy. Joseph’s life illustrates this so vividly—and so do our lives. We may be in the midst of a challenge that makes us question God or even doubt His goodness, but, if we draw close to God, He will use even these difficulties to bring about His good.

Be encouraged!

P.S. I needed this post as much as anyone. Please pray for my husband, Dick. He fell on black ice and hit his head hard on our driveway yesterday. CT scan showed no concussion, but he has two staples in the back of his head and a rip roaring headache and neck pain. Prayers greatly appreciated.

©2016 Pamela D. Williams


  1. Some days it's easier to see God's hand than others but that's why we have been reminded the life we live is not one governed by our sight but faith. Thanks for sharing these encouraging words. Sorry to read about Dick's fall Pam. Praying for a speedy recovery for him.

    1. Thank you for your prayers! We definitely live by faith not by sight!

  2. IMHO it is often hard to see the forest for the trees from time to time. My mind knows things; my heart doesn't cooperate. Trusting becomes a major issue when we have no clear direction. But trust we must. Prayers will be said for Dick and you!

    1. So true, Bill--like flying blind! Thank you for your prayers!

  3. Hi Pam! Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry about your husband's fall! My dad fell last year in an icy parking lot, and could barely get up.
    I hope his headache and neck pain resolve very soon. Thank goodness he didn't have a concussion. How does work in everything, even falls? As Bill said, it's often hard to see. But He did cushion Dick's fall so he wouldn't be concussed, so I'll look at it that way.
    Have a quiet, healing day,

    1. Dick is seeing some improvement this evening, Ceil! Thank you for your prayers!

  4. I think that the first *fall from grace* - The Fall - had its roots in the serpent enticing Adam and Eve into blaming God. He made them think that God was withholding something good from them. He planted a small seed of resentment, perhaps. There is great danger in the thought pattern that says: "Why isn't God doing this or that?" It's all too easy to then start thinking, "Why WON'T God do this or that?" The Bible is full of people who suffered great hardship, and yet never turned their backs on God. Staying close, even when, and especially when we don't understand what God is up to is crucial to trusting Him in ALL things.


    (Your poor husband! Glad to hear that it's not a concussion, but will pray for a speedy recovery and relief from pain)

    1. We often want all the answers right here, right now. And sometimes we have to realize Deuteronomy 29:29: The secret things belong to the LORD our God--and that often includes His plans!

  5. Excellent post and reminder. One of the most heartbreaking stories to me in all the Bible is when Joseph weeps and mourns the life he lost due to his brothers and yet forgives them. What a picture. Only the power of God through His perfect love can accomplish that.

    Praying for your husband too, Pam.

    It is amazing to see in hindsight the mighty and sovereign hand of our Father and His perfect will in our imperfect lives.

  6. Such a good post! So sorry about your husband, prayers for him. I fell down our steps several weeks ago and still have the remains of what was a massive bruise on my leg. Thankful it wasn't worse. Thankful for no concussion for your husband.

    1. Thanks for your prayers, Mindy. Dick is mending slowly but surely!