Let’s look at the story of Joseph from Genesis 37: 18-28 and how his life exemplified the importance of trusting in God’s plan. Joseph’s journey teaches us valuable lessons about faith, resilience, and taking the next best step even when our circumstances seem too difficult. In a world filled with uncertainty, Joseph’s story provides us with hope and encouragement to trust in God’s faithfulness.
The Coat and the Pit
I intentionally stopped the story where Joseph is in the pit. That is not the end of Joseph’s story but that is how life is. We find ourselves in a moment. We cannot see what lays ahead. We only see the complexities of this moment where we find ourselves.
Joseph had just had some great moments. He was the favored son. His father had just given him a beautiful coat. He had a couple dreams where others may bow down to him. How did he end up in a pit?
Imagine the fear, confusion, and betrayal Joseph must have felt in that pit. Yet, even in that moment of despair, Joseph chose to trust God. Instead of succumbing to bitterness and despair, he took the next best step and embraced his circumstances. Sold into slavery, he served faithfully in Potiphar’s house, demonstrating a deep trust in God’s provision and purpose.
Facing Our Own Difficult Circumstances
Another example is a young woman who grew up in a home with very difficult parents. She dropped out of high school. She married my father at seventeen. Yes – my mom. She moved to Texas and was taken in by my father’s family. She made a wonderful life. She did everything right. She attended church multiple times a week. She didn’t drink. She didn’t smoke. And yet, in her late fifties, my mom was diagnosed with throat cancer, she had to have her larynx, her voice box, and part of her tongue removed. She found herself in a pit. She trusted God and made her way forward. She took that next best step. She went on to live another thirty years, or so. She volunteered for the red cross and spoke with people before they had a similar surgery so they would know what to expect. She continued her good life.
Trusting God does not mean we will be exempt from trials and hardships. However, it means that we can have confidence that God is working all things together for our good. As we face the challenges of life, we should remember that our next best step is to trust.
When faced with difficult circumstances, it is natural for us to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. However, it is during these times that our faith and trust in God are truly tested. We can find inspiration from the stories of countless individuals who have faced adversity and emerged stronger through their unwavering trust in God.
Consider the story of Job, who experienced the loss of his wealth, health, and loved ones. Despite his immense suffering, Job remained steadfast in his trust in God, declaring, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15). Job’s example teaches us that even in the depths of despair, we can choose to trust God and take the next best step forward, knowing that God is with us.
Another example is the Apostle Paul, who faced numerous trials and hardships in his ministry. He endured beatings, imprisonments, and shipwrecks, yet he remained resolute in his faith. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul’s unwavering trust in God enabled him to persevere and continue spreading the Gospel, even in the face of adversity.
In our own lives, we may encounter financial struggles, relationship difficulties, health challenges, or career setbacks. However, we must remember that we serve a God who is faithful and trustworthy. By taking the next best step in faith, we acknowledge that God is in control and has a plan for our lives, even in the midst of our difficulties.
The Church’s Struggle
Our church is at a crossroads. We don’t know exactly what the future holds for us. I, myself, am excited about the possibilities of what may become. But we must be open to that change. We must be willing to take that next best step.
Through a series of events, Joseph’s brothers found themselves standing before him, unaware of his true identity. Joseph had every opportunity for revenge, but instead, he chose forgiveness and reconciliation. He recognized that God had used even the darkest moments of his life to bring about a greater purpose.
Joseph’s life was a testament to the power of trusting God and taking the next best step. He understood that his suffering and setbacks were not in vain but were stepping stones to God’s greater plan. By embracing forgiveness, he restored his relationship with his brothers and brought healing to his family.
Joseph’s journey reminds us that no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we can trust God’s faithfulness. Like Joseph, we must be willing to take the next best step, even when the path ahead seems uncertain. Instead of dwelling on the setbacks and disappointments, let us fix our eyes on God.
Trusting God does not mean we will be exempt from trials and hardships. However, it means that we can have confidence that God is working out all things.
All too often in our lives, the ultimate plan is not obvious. God’s timing may not be our timing. We cannot see all the future steps and the final place we will land. But we can take that next best step…and trust.
May we find inspiration in Joseph’s story and have the courage to trust God, even in the darkest moments. Let us take the next best step in faith, knowing that God will lead us.
Trust in God’s plan, take the next best step, and watch how He transforms our lives and our church.