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Faithfulness Through Our Circumstances
Mr. Daniel Gan
4 May 2020
How do we continue to trust and obey God, when things get from bad to worse?
Joseph was the favourite son of Israel and only 17 years old when he was sold by his brothers to the Midianite traders who sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. And just when it seemed things were getting better as he rose to become the overseer of his master’s house, he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.
Jewish commentators have written that Joseph was imprisoned for at least twelve years and one can only imagine what it was like to be facing the dark nights of the soul, trapped in a foreign land, isolated from family and friends, isolated even from the culture and community that he grew up in. Many would be the nights where Joseph wrestled with hopelessness as he waited upon the Lord...yet day after day, nothing changed as he lay down to sleep on the dank and dark floor of his prison cell. “Was I wrong to trust and obey God in rejecting Potiphar’s wife?” But even as that fleeting thought crossed his mind, he would have remembered all the old stories his father Jacob told him.
How God promised his great-grandfather Abraham a child Isaac by barran Sarah in their old age (Gen 17:19). And God fulfilled that promise. How God promised grandma Rebekah that her son Esau, the older would serve Jacob (Gen 25:23). And God fulfilled that promise. And how his father Jacob was caught in Uncle Laban’s deception for twenty long years, and God fulfilled his promises, delivered him and brought him back as a wealthy man (Gen 31:3). And as Joseph remembered these stories, one thing he would have seen was that God honored faith more than anything else. Abraham trusted God’s promise. Isaac trusted God’s promise. Rebekah trusted God’s promise. Jacob trusted God’s promise. And they all saw God’s faithfulness to His covenantal promises to them, despite their own individual weaknesses and circumstances.
Being faithful to God, trusting Him and obeying Him sometimes may lead us to a trajectory where our circumstances become worse, not better. We see this in Joseph when obedience led to twelve years of imprisonment. Butwe can still cling to God’s promises. God fulfills His promises to us! And it’s faith in our faithful God, trusting His future grace that will sustain us in our dark moments.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations…” Deuteronomy 7:9
Mr. Daniel Gan