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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Trouble with Circumstances

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV

Today, I fought discouragement, because I looked at me instead of God. I looked at circumstances instead of Him. But then, I fixed my gaze on Him, and by the time evening fell—discouragement had also fallen away.

Looking at our difficult circumstances can often get us into trouble. When we examine what is going on around us, it’s easy to think, This is bad, this is messed up, and there is no way it can be resolved. It’s easy to fall into the trap of saying to ourselves, I don’t see how God can work through this or fix it. Or we jump right into questioning why He let this happen in the first place. When discouragement sets in, what are we to do?

The best attitude we can have is to be grateful that God can work in any situation! Nothing is too big or too hard for Him, and we don’t have to face any difficult situation alone. 

How often we look at our circumstances in the natural, rather than in the divine or supernatural, where God can work in powerful ways we cannot even imagine! If we only have our own strength to rely on, then we surely grow discouraged. But when we look to God, our hearts are filled with hope and awe because we know He does great and mighty things.

The story of Joseph is one of the greatest examples in the Bible that more is going on than what is seen in the circumstances. Joseph’s brothers plotted to murder him; but instead of killing him, they put him in a pit, then decided to sell him to slave traders. You know the rest of the story—he ended up falsely imprisoned for many years. Now, that is a long string of difficult circumstances! Yet, if you read the whole story from Genesis 37 to 50, you will repeatedly see God’s good hand of favor on Joseph through it all. 

God delivered Joseph from prison and promoted him to the second in power in the land of Egypt. At God’s prompting, Joseph wisely stored food and prepared for the coming famine. He was eventually reunited with his family, and there we see the most beautiful aspect of this whole story: Joseph forgave his brothers. The most memorable and oft repeated verse from this entire passage is Joseph’s statement to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, 

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

Joseph’s story, as do many other stories in the Bible, demonstrates to us that God is always working in those things we cannot see ... yet. God is continually working in and through bad circumstances ... for good.

Take your eyes off the circumstance and look at God. The circumstance can overwhelm until you remind yourself again who God is and who you are in Him.

Copyright © 2017 Kathy Cheek. Used with permission.

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