“To everything there is an end, and for every end, there is a new beginning.” Malinda Roder
The Long road of waiting . . . will this ever end?
At one time or another, we’ve all been faced with something that seems like there is no end in site. We find hope in the pages of the Bible, through the stories of those who were motivated by their faith, to trust God. In each story there has always been an end to the circumstance, and when something ends, there is a new beginning.
One of the most exciting books in the Bible is the book of Hebrews, because it offers us HOPE in our times of waiting. In chapter eleven, we find what I like to refer to as, “The Faith Hall of Fame.” During times of discouragement I have found it helpful to visit this Faith Hall of Fame, and ponder just what these fellow servants of God went through. I find myself having a renewed sense of hope after reading their stories, and being reminded of God’s Amazing Grace! Check out this short list of some of the people mentioned, maybe you’ll recognize a few of their names: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
One of my favorite hero’s of faith is Joseph, the son of Jacob. Joseph had twelve older brothers, and it was no secret he was his fathers favorite son. However, his brothers were jealous, and they try to get rid of him. They sell Joseph to merchants who take him to Egypt, and there he is sold into slavery. He was purchased by Potiphar the captain of the guard, as a house slave. Joseph worked hard and the favor of the LORD was upon him. He was promoted and became head over Potiphar’s entire household. Apparently, Joseph was very handsome and caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife. She tried seducing Joseph, and when he refused, she was offended and lied about him, saying he had raped her.
Time seemed to stand still for Joseph, when he was wrongfully imprisoned for twelve years. To think about how those years must have seemed like an eternity to young Joseph. Oh, how his heart would have been filled with so many emotions. Years spent crying out to God! We can only imagine what his conversations with God were like. All the while, God had a plan, He was preparing Joseph for what was to come.
During Joseph’s time time in prison Pharaoh’s baker and cup bearer are thrown into the jail with him. One night they both end up having vivid dreams, which deeply disturb them. When they awake they tell their troubling dreams to Joseph, and he was able to interpret the meaning of their dreams. Then, just as Joseph had told them it would happen, his interpretation came true, and both the cup bearer and baker were set free and restored to their positions in the palace.
When the cup bearer and baker were released, they promised to tell Pharoah about Joseph. But, neither one of them kept their promise and they quickly forgot all about him. Until two years later, when Pharoah had a re-occurring dream and no one could tell him the meaning of it. Suddenly, the cup bearer remembered Joseph, and how he was able to accurately interpret dreams.
Pharaoh summoned Joseph from prison, and asks him the meaning of his dream. Joseph tells Pharaoh that the interpretations he is able to give, come from God. He explains to Pharaoh that Egypt is going to have seven years of plenteous harvest, and then seven years of great famine. Joseph advises Pharoah that he should plant and harvest as much as possible now, so that there will be plenty of food during the famine. Pharaoh sees the wisdom Joseph has, and makes him second in command under himself, so that none in all the land of Egypt was more powerful than Joseph, except Pharaoh himself!
What an amazing story, with twists and turns and many years of waiting. God works beauty in us, during our times of waiting. In the end, we clearly see how God worked everything out so perfectly. Think of the years in prison when Joseph could have given up, but he didn’t. He latched on to the opportunity to grow closer to God during those years. In turn, God used Joseph in an amazing way, and restored to him all that he had lost and much more!
The same is true for us, when we take the opportunity to draw in closer to God in our times of trial and waiting, God blesses us. What the enemy had meant for our defeat, God will use for something good, when we draw closer to Him through it. This is just what Joseph chose to do in each situation. I imagine there were many days of discouragement, but Joseph pressed through and didn’t give up! This is key in a trial, don’t ever give up! If we press in close to God, soon we begin to see even in the midst of suffering, that God has and is doing something good.
”You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
I doubt that had Joseph not clung to God during his time of suffering and waiting, that he would not have been able to forgive his brothers. The unforgiveness would have had a much different effect on the entire family, and the nation of Israel. Instead, Joseph allowed God to do a good work in him over all those years. Because he chose to forgive his brothers for their evil against him, his family was saved from death. Today, we know that Joseph’s brothers make up the twelve tribes of Israel. Amazing!
Within each story of these “Faith Hall of Famers” we see times of waiting. Many endure long periods of suffering, but at the end we see the beauty God makes out of it all. During our waiting we pass the time much more pleasantly, if we press into God and seek Him. His word says, “But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 Maybe God is trying to get our attention, when we suffer through a waiting period? Maybe He wants to teach us something? We may never know the “why” but we can seek Him first, and see where He takes us.
If you’re finding yourself in a season of life that just doesn’t seem to have an ending, be encouraged it will end. Maybe not when we had hoped that it would, but in God’s perfect timing and when God’s perfect will has been accomplished.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36
God is never late!
Life has many unexpected twists and turns, and like Joseph, sometimes we can get hit with something out of no where. But nothing surprises God, He has already seen the end to it, and He has a sovereign good plan and purpose for it.
“From the beginning I revealed the end. From long ago I told you things that had not yet happened, saying, ‘My plan will stand and I’ll do everything I intended to do.” Isaiah 46:10
We don’t know the future, but God does and we can trust Him. Just because we are in a season of waiting for something to happen, doesn’t mean there is no end, it just means God is doing all that He has intended to do during this season. Then, the end will come, and there will be a new beginning!