Trusting God During Hard Times
David’s confrontation with Goliath is a great example of faith in action. He was challenged, he accepted the challenge, and he put his faith into action. His courage inspires us, and often motivates us to do something that looks impossible. Sometimes, living by faith is a call to action. We understand this kind of faith because we can roll up our sleeves and actually do something. This is not, however, the only kind of faith God demands of us.
There is a passive faith that requires a patient spirit of waiting for God to do something. This kind of faith does not call us to action; it calls us to patience. The life of Joseph, in the Old Testament, demonstrates this kind of faith. God gave Joseph a glimpse of his future through a dream. It was a dream from God and it was God’s will for Joseph’s life, and it would come to pass if Joseph had the patient faith to sustain the dream. Joseph had faith in his dream and shared it confidently with his father Jacob and his brothers. His confidence in God’s plan for his life was undoubtedly boosted by his father’s favoritism shown through the coat of many colors he so proudly wore. He probably never envisioned himself not wearing the coat of privilege. He also, more than likely, assumed his rise to power was just around the corner. It is doubtful that he even considered his future would include many tests, trials, and hardships.
Joseph’s journey, like ours can sometimes be, went from good, to bad, to worse, to horrible before God was finished. He was favored, betrayed, enslaved, falsely accused and imprisoned before he realized his dream. His life didn’t look much like his dream. Our typical response when life doesn’t go quite as planned, or when difficult times come our way, is to complain that life is not fair, or insist that there must be some mistake. We usually feel that sickness, financial difficulties, persecution or conflict should not be a part of our dream.
Our faith and trust in God is always a choice. It is never dependent upon the circumstances or situations of life. When things don’t go well in our lives, we can choose to accept God’s will, trust Him completely and maintain an attitude of confidence, or we can complain, get discouraged and adopt a spirit of bitterness. Joseph chose to trust God in the midst of the most difficult of circumstances. He understood that even though his brothers had abandoned him God would never leave. Two powerful statements are made in the book of Genesis to prove that God is always with his children, even in the most trying of times. Consider the following: “Now Joseph was sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh...and the Lord was with Joseph.” “Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison...and the Lord was with Joseph.” We might ask, “How can this be?” It sure didn’t look like God had been with Joseph for quite some time.
We need to be certain that we trust the truth of God’s word more than our feelings or what we can see. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” Joseph demonstrated the most mature type of faith. Through his patient trust in God, when he had no idea what was really happening, he realized his dream. In the end, he is able to both forgive and encourage his brothers with these words: “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life....you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” We must remember that even during the darkest of times, God is at work and can help us realize our dreams.