A Part of His Work
Written by: Saphace Asamoah
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This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through
the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
- Hebrews 6:19
God doesn’t forget about us. He knows us by name and knows how many times we’ve gone through the drive-through at Chick-fil-A. But He doesn’t stop there. He keeps His promises.
In Genesis 37, we read about Joseph being sold into slavery by his own brothers. Crazy, right?! I used to fight with my sisters a lot when I was a kid, but I never hated them so much that I thought they deserved such a heartless punishment. While slavery is a tragic part of American history and many other cultures around the world, it is still alive today. Regardless, some of us haven’t experienced slavery ourselves and find stories like Joseph’s slightly difficult to relate to. But we can all understand what it’s like to feel devalued, unheard, beat down, broken, tired.
Joseph was about 17 years old when he was sold by his brothers. Sounds like he missed his High School graduation! He also spent 13 years in prison. Wow! He could’ve gone to college, graduate school, maybe fit in a PhD? I’m being hypothetical, since none of those things were options back then, but I think you get my drift. He missed out on a lot!
Detours happen and suddenly the life we planned for ourselves seems like a pipe dream. I thought I would find my husband in college or in graduate school. While that didn’t happen, I’m still building my career and I’ve enjoyed my life in other ways. God has given me rich friendships, the opportunity to travel, build better habits, and I’m learning a lot about myself.
How has God kept His promise for me, you ask? He has shown me how to challenge what I believe, causing me to find a deeper faith that is strong no matter the circumstances. I’m also moving to a state by myself without my family. God promises in the Bible that He is with us always. He truly is everywhere, meaning that even though this move is scary there are great things God wants to do in every city. I don’t know everything God has in store, but despite my fears, I know He will reveal His hand.
We don’t get to see all God’s promises bloom into fruition in this lifetime. Sometimes God asks us to be part of His work as we strive for His vision. In this current day and age where racial tensions divide us, we desire unity in the church. Will we see healing? Maybe. Or perhaps we will get to see a glimmer of what God desires when we serve His people and get to know the people around us.
What about other big things like peace and the end of poverty? We learn a lot about God’s character in the Bible. He is faithful, powerful, all-knowing. I’ve seen God’s peace work for me in graduate school, when I was hunting for a job, when I’m anxious at work, when I struggled with a friendship, and when a family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness. When the outcome doesn’t work out the way we want it to, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t keep His promises or that somehow He is unworthy of our trust. I think it’s easy to let our circumstances and how we feel affect how we view God.
Joseph’s time in prison was still worth it. Not only did he end up being promoted to a high position in Egypt for his God-given skill of interpreting dreams, he also got a chance to give grace to his brothers. While things won’t always resolve that way in our own lives, we still see that God lifted Joseph up. His struggles taught him a few things: forgiveness, perseverance, and patience.
Whether God fulfills the things you desire or not, He will still lift you up and teach you a few things along the way. There’s always something to be thankful for. And there are always promises that we didn’t realize God wanted to honor at the end of it all.
1. Why do we sometimes struggle to believe God will keep His promises to us?
2. Are there moments in the past where you realized God kept His promise to you? How do these moments help you to trust Him more?
Faithful Father, You are a Promise Keeper. Every promise You have declared over my life will come to pass. I surrender my desire to have my way when You know better. Help me to trust You, knowing that all good things come from You alone. There is no greater love than the one You have for me. Amen.
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