Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
– Revelations 3:11 NIV
Life is full of peaks and valleys – meaning, throughout your life you will experience many ups and downs. The key then becomes to not allow yourself to get too high or low because in an instant, your situation can change. So, celebrate the blessings, breakthroughs and relationships you have today because tomorrow, they may be gone.
I tend to look at life through the lens of Joseph’s eyes. Joseph was a dreamer who gained favor with God. Yet, during different stages of his life he found himself in situations and predicaments that would have caused most people to quit. Joseph understood that while the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord (Proverbs 37:23), those steps often lead us through pits and prisons before we reach the palace.
So, when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe… and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, with no water in it. - Genesis 37:23-24 BSB
Joseph’s brothers hated him because their father favored him. Some people are going to hate you because of the favor God bestows upon you. When Joseph found himself at the bottom of the pit, I am sure he was angry, confused and scared. Maybe, today you find yourself in a pit. In an empty and dry place. Sometimes people push us into a pit but other times through our own words and actions we jump into the pit all on our own. It does not matter how you got into your pit - just as long as you do not stay there. Remember, your pit is not your final destination.
You can’t dig your way out of a pit and if it is deep enough, you won’t be able to climb out, but God is always near enough to reach down and pull you out. No matter how deep your pit is, call out to the Lord in times of trouble and He will deliver you from your distress (Psalm 107:28).
When Potiphar heard his wife’s story (that Joseph had tried to sleep with her) … he became very angry. So, Joseph’s master arrested him and put him in prison. While Joseph was in prison, the Lord was with him. The Lord reached out to him with his unchanging love and gave him protection. He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. - Genesis 39:19-21 GW
After being removed from the pit, Joseph was sold to a man named Potiphar. While serving in Potiphar’s house, his wife lied on Joseph. Because of this, Joseph was thrown into jail. What happened to Joseph was unfair and not right. The same may be true for what you are experiencing. It is not fair that you were abandoned. It is not right that you were lied on. It hurts being laid-off, taken advantage of and discarded.
Under the circumstances, it becomes easy to allow anger, hatred, jealousy, fear and offense to take root within you - when you do, you are imprisoning yourself. Your prison is your state of mind after the pit. Some nice, caring, happy individuals go into a pit and come out bitter, angry and vengeful. Do not let your pit to turn into a prison, instead allow God to transform you into a new person, by changing the way you think about your situation (Romans 12:2).
Joseph decided to trust God through the process and God favored him because of it. He did not become mad or despondent nor did he dwell on his past hurts or current circumstances, but he instead allowed God to transform and use him where he was. Let God use you where you are. Let God use you through the divorce. Let God use you while you’re unemployed. Let God use you through the sickness. Let God use you through the loneliness, debt and uncertainty. When you let God use you - He places His love, protection and approval upon you.
So, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt and said to him, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.” – Genesis 41:43-44 NLT
Joseph did not stay in his pit and he did not allow negative thoughts to imprison him. Because of this, he found favor with both God and man - a favor that led him to the palace. No matter where you find yourself today - either a pit or a prison, place your trust in God and He will bring you to your palace.
Everything you are going through today is leading to a palace - to a breakthrough and blessing you were not anticipating, to a child you didn’t think you would have, to a relationship you did not expect, to a job, promotion or healthy doctors report. So, do not get discouraged and quit before you reach your palace. If you don’t give up prematurely, you will see the manifestation of your dreams and find that the very people who meant to harm you will be the ones bowing before you in the palace.
It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. – Acts 1:7 ESV
Throughout the course of a year, we experience four different seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. Each season is characterized by different meteorological events. For instance, during the winter season the days are short, and the air is cold – with some areas experiencing snow and ice while the summer season is marked by long days and is the hottest time of the year which can result in droughts and wildfires.
We know that there is a time and season for everything. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to hug tightly and a time to let go (Ecclesiastes 3:1-5). Seasons are inevitable, but how we transition from one season to another, shows how faithful we are to God’s word and direction.
To successfully transition into a new season, you are going to have to change your plans, clothes and thermostat.
It is not advised to plan a Caribbean vacation for September because it is the height of hurricane season in the Atlantic. If you had a vacation planned during that time and a hurricane formed, you would be forced to change your plans.
Life often sends us unexpected storms that ultimately alters our plans. You may have thought that you would be married by now or still married, but a storm came. You may have thought that you would be employed by now, but a storm came. You may have thought that you would be over that addiction by now, that you would have a child by now or that you would be out of debt by now, but a storm came.
When life sends you a storm that changes your plans – call on the one who said, “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). Call on the who created the winds and the rains, who will instruct you and teach you the way you should go in the middle of a storm (Psalm 32:8). Do not be upset if God changes the plans you had for your life, because His plans for you are far greater.
People may plan all kinds of things, but the LORD's will is going to be done.
– Proverbs 19:21 GNT
Seasonal transitions are volatile. When transitioning from winter to spring—one day might be sunny and dry while the next day might be cold and snowy. So, the challenge becomes what to wear in such weather.
What do you put on during volatile and unpredictable times? Do you wear guilt and shame? Do you wear anger, anxiety, or unforgiveness? We are instructed to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. To put on the full armor of God, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes during uncertain times (Ephesians 6:10).
You would not wear a winter coat during the summer because it is not appropriate for that season. Similarly, you should not wear condemnation, fear or offense. Remove your coat. Remove the humiliation, jealousy, grief and pride from your life so that you can move confidently with God into the next season of your life. If not, you will remain in your winter (depression, negativity and anxiety) when God wants to move you into your spring (joy, optimism and peace).
No one patches an old coat with a new piece of cloth that will shrink. Otherwise, the new patch will shrink and rip away some of the old cloth, and the tear will become worse. – Mark 2:21 GWT
What you wear outside is a reaction to the external temperature. But internally, in your home, you control the temperature with a thermostat. So, if it is cold outside, you can make it warm in your house or if it is hot outside, you can make it cold in your house. You control and regulate the internal environment.
You control and regulate your happiness. You control and regulate your feelings. You control and regulate your reactions. You cannot control the adversity, but you can control your response to it. You cannot control people, but you can control how you treat them. You cannot control when you are going to die, but you can control the type of life you live. Control what you can control and let God handle everything else.
Losing self-control leaves you as helpless as a city without a wall.
– Proverbs 25:28 CEV
Seasons are always changing, and it is incumbent upon us to change as the seasons change. Though our situation and circumstances are everchanging, God is the same. While His spirit is the same, how we witness Him should change in every season of our life. In this season of your life, He may be a comforter while in another He is a provider. No matter the season you find yourself in – hold on to God and His unchanging hand.
New blog(s) posted every month.