“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2 ESV
Will you get through this? How many times do we hear people recite these lines? The last thing we want to hear while drowning in our sorrows and grieving is, “You’ll get through this.” Although nothing is wrong with saying these words, they are the last thing we want to hear when we suffer.
Unfortunately, these are not magical words that instantly make our pain disappear. I should know because I experienced this sorrow when I lost my father and husband. Then, I was gripped by despair and guilt.
When we experience suffering, we fear that we won’t be able to overcome our worries and that our sorrow and grief won’t go away. But instead, the pain and anguish seem to get worse as time passes.
The scripture talks about those who, like us, went through a terrible persecution, death, illness, and even depression.
People like Joseph were betrayed by his brothers and jailed through no fault of their own. David was anointed King early but endured trials, persecution, and betrayal. Likewise, the Apostles were persecuted, mocked, and imprisoned for choosing to follow Jesus.
Daniel was a victim of jealousy and faced death for taking a stand on whose he was. How about Noah, who was instructed to build an ark when there was no sign of rain? He was not crazy, despite what everyone thought; he simply followed God’s instructions and remained faithful.
They must have all wondered when their suffering would end. We go through storms as well. Even if our storms may not be as severe as theirs, it still overwhelms us and fills our minds and hearts with fear.
What, then, do all these men have in common? Despite their storms, they trusted in God. Trials and tribulations are not painless. Did God promise that we would not go through trials and tribulations? No, but He did pledge to reweave our pain for a higher purpose. It will take a while. Years he was passed before God raised Joseph to a higher position. Joseph was only 17 when he began his journey. It took God one hundred twenty years to prepare him for his work.
At the age of 17, God called David and appointed him King, but first, he had to endure much suffering and persecution before he ascended to the throne. Jesus spent thirty years preparing for His mission. If it took time before their persecution ended, how long would it take for God to deliver you and me to fulfill His promises in our lives?
Despite everything, God is at work in our lives and the lives of others; He is preparing us for our calling. Remember that God will use your circumstance to transform it into a message, no matter how long it takes. It is during these seasons and waiting periods that God teaches us what we need to learn.
Max Lucado wrote, “We see a prison, God sees a kiln. We see a famine; God sees the relocation of His chosen lineage. We call it Egypt; God calls it protective custody, where the sons of Jacob can escape barbaric Canaan and multiply abundantly in peace. We see Satan’s tricks and plots. God sees Satan tripped and failed” (Lucado, 2013, pp. 220)
Friends, we are a modern-day equivalent of Joseph. We represent a threat to Satan’s plans. Why? Because we carry the Spirit of God. He is inside us and eager to give the world what it needs: holiness, mercy, pureness, kindness, abundant peace, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
The life of Joseph demonstrates how God, our Master Weaver and Master Rebuilder, redeems us for the better through forgiveness, mercy, and restoration. If God did this for Joseph and many others, He would do the same for you and me. All we need to do is to trust Him.
Thank you again for reminding me that You are a good Father and Your plans are always good. Help me to focus on You as I run my race and keep my eyes on Jesus. In your precious name, I praise you and give you all the glory; amen.
Reference & Credits
• Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), copyright
2001 by Crossway, a Good News Publishers publishing ministry.
• Lucado, Max. (2013). God Will Use This For Good. Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
• Editor: Carmen Almodovar, Bristow, Virginia