Day 56: February 25, 2023

God is With you Through Ups and Downs  

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

The Lord was with Joseph and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed his hands so Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him…And Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.—Genesis 39:2-4, 20 (ESV)

For Insight

Ups and downs seemed to be the story of young Joseph. One moment he was a child in his father’s house and the next he was a slave in Egypt. One moment he was serving his master dutifully and the next he was in prison. Every victory seemed to be followed by a defeat. Was he going to spend the rest of his life being bated back and forth between good and evil, blessing and misfortune.    

As a youth his brothers had attacked him, stripped him of his robe which was their way of trying to take his dream and humiliate him. Then they threw him down a dry well to die and ended up selling him into slavery for cheap. If that wasn’t bad enough once he was serving in his master’s house and was being sexually harassed by Potiphar’s wife who falsely accused him of rape, and he was thrown into prison for a crime he hadn’t committed.

How was Joseph able to hold onto his belief that life was going to come out as God planned, even while he was in prison. How was he able to keep doubt from taking him down deeper than any physical prison? How can you manage to hold on even when things don’t look too good or promising? Even when things look hopeless. When everything’s going wrong, and nothing is going right? When life looks hopeless beyond repair.

That’s when doubt loves to creep in. You wonder why God would let things happen the way that they do, you doubt your abilities, you doubt God’s goodness, you doubt his provision, if he is (ever) going to deliver you, and so many other things that float through your head and heart in that moment. You know God has a plan for you, but at the moment you doubt it will ever (really) happen or be accomplished.

Doubt can be as deep as the pit Joseph’s brothers threw him into and the longer nothing good or positive happens to turn things around, the deeper we sink. A passing doubt on a rainy day is one thing but doubt when there is nothing but one storm after another is altogether different. That is when doubt takes control of your thoughts and covers your heart with a black shroud.

Joseph did as we can do. He held on to his faith in God. He trusted the dream he dreamt but didn’t see yet, more than the prison bars he saw and touched. As hopeless as Joseph’s life appeared many times, God had more in mind than rescuing him from pits and prisons. God planned to make him the head and not the tail and that is what he did. Even when life is up and down as Joseph’s was, or down and never up, God’s plan is still in place. We can push back against doubt when we determine to trust in God and believe in his power to deliver and promise to make sure good can come out of things that don’t appear good or promising.

God is not a destroyer, bruised reeds he doesn’t break, smoldering wicks he doesn’t put out. He is not a tormenter or tease he is a dream-maker not a dream-breaker. When life is going haywire hold on tight don’t let doubt rule your heart nor your mind.

Lord, keep doubt from taking over and help me hold onto your powerful hand through life’s ups and downs. Amen        

For Application  

How has life been full of ups and downs? How have you managed to keep the claws of doubt from consuming your thoughts and influencing your faith?

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