Why Should I Stay Faithful in My Pain?

SEPTEMBER 2019

– Spiritual Growth, God Provides, Bible Study

Joseph did not have the easiest life. Betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, and arrested- he had every reason to feel like his life was worthless. He could have given up on God, lost his faith, and chose to live a mediocre life, but he didn’t! He continued to serve God faithfully in everything he did. Eventually, God showed up in a major way and blessed him for his faithfulness, making him second-in-command to all of Egypt! 

We can look at Joseph and see that God was faithful to him, because of his choice to maintain his godly character. He knew that even though he was a slave, working for man, he was really serving Jesus. He chose to be a blessing over becoming bitter about the way his life was going. This allowed God to grow him. 

We usually grow the most through times of pain and difficulty. It teaches us how to stay positive and endure when all we want to do is give up. It is easy to think “Well, God is done using me. I have no purpose anymore.” But as long as you are alive, God still has a plan for you!

God does not want us to become stagnant and miss out on all He has for us. When we stay faithful through the pain, He rewards us in the end. Just look at Joseph! Joseph chose to do everything for the Lord and when we do that, we stand out among the rest. God blesses us through our ability to live our lives in service to him. That is what caused Joseph to become such an influential leader in Egypt. People noticed there was something different about him- his character. 

Q & A FROM BILLY GRAHAM DESK

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q:

It seems that the most popular people are the most influential people, yet so many of them fall from their high positions taking those they’ve influenced down with them. Why can’t average God-fearing people make a greater impact in the world?


A:

 

The Scripture teaches that popularity with the world means death. Satan’s most effective tool is conformity and compromise. He is aware that one man standing in the midst of a secular people can move them in the direction of God, or away from Him. From compromise to deceit is a small step.

God’s people are called to live for Him without compromise. It matters not whether they have high or lowly positions. We are to be faithful to God’s Word no matter where we find ourselves. We are to renounce the evil influence of the world, the flesh, and the devil. There can be no parleying, bargaining, compromise, or hesitation. “Follow the instructions of the Lord … do not compromise with evil” (Psalm 119:1, 3, NLT).

The Bible gives many examples of people who rose to high positions because of their faithfulness to God. Joseph was a faithful shepherd boy. He remained faithful when he was falsely accused and thrown in prison, but became prime minister in Egypt. Daniel was captured and enslaved, but rose to be a ruler over Babylon. But others fell from high positions because they turned their backs on God, like King Saul.

One of Satan’s most effective ways of blocking God’s work is to convince us God cannot use us to make an impact for Christ. But it isn’t true. The place God has each individual is where He wants to use us to influence others for His glory, and this is the key: that we do all for the glory of Christ.

(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Pray now.

Uniquely You, Day 3

 

Today’s reading is drawn from Matthew 25:15.

Da Vinci painted one Mona Lisa. Beethoven composed one Fifth Symphony. And God made one version of you. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. Mine like a gold digger the unique-to-you nuggets from your life . . .

When God gives an assignment, he also gives the skill. Study your skills, then, to reveal your assignment.

Look at you. Your uncanny ease with numbers. Your quenchless curiosity about chemistry. Others stare at blueprints and yawn; you read them and drool. “I was made to do this,” you say.

Our Maker gives assignments to people, to each according to each one’s unique ability. As he calls, he equips. Look back over your life. What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do? Stand at the intersection of your affections and successes and find your uniqueness.

from Cure for the Common Life

Could I please have a receipt on that? Day 3

Today’s reading is drawn from 2 Kings 22:3-7.

In the mid-1970s, I got my first job in sales. In addition to my getting a good product to sell and a territory to sell it in, I received a travel expense budget. My boss explained the procedures for reporting money that I spent on the road. “Here’s the form you fill out when you get back,” he said, “and by the way, the Internal Revenue Service does not require receipts for expenses less than 25 dollars.”

In a few days, I was sitting on an airplane, headed for the West Coast. I remember thinking, Let’s see. If I put a few less-than – 20-dollar expenses in my reports for money I don’t actually spend, this could really add up. After all, I’m working night and day for this company, and I’m not getting paid for all this extra time.

Over the next few weeks, I discovered an interesting fact. And although this dawned on me a long time ago, it’s as fresh as if it had dashed across my mind last week. Here’s the truth: You are who you are when no one’s checking up on you.

Josiah the king had given his secretary Shaphan an assignment. The king had asked him to tell the high priest to take the donations that had been made at the temple and give them to the construction supervisors for parceling out to the workers. Then Josiah adds an interesting postscript. He tells Shaphan that the supervisors do not need to fill out expense reports. Josiah reminds his secretary that the supervisors don’t need to account for the money because they are “acting faithfully.”

The thing that ought to capture us about this story is the remarkable trust that King Josiah placed in his supervisors. I wonder how the high priest told them that Josiah was not requiring any receipts for their expenditures. I wonder if any of these men were tempted to slip a few shekels in their waistbands when they discovered that they weren’t going to be audited. I imagine that he simply said to these managers, “Spend the money carefully but don’t be concerned with keeping records. Our king trusts you, even when no one is checking up on you.”

Can you imagine how motivating this would have been to these supervisors? “Wow, the king trusts us with this money,” they may have said to each other. “How could we do anything but be trustworthy?”

There are lots of different ways to motivate your children to do the right thing when you’re not around. You can read them a list of consequences if they mess up. You can sit them down and interrogate them when they come home. Or you can tell them that you trust them to be honest, trustworthy and faithful.

Which of these options do you suppose will get you the best results? I do, too.