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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

day 12: brave perseverance

God often uses the unlikely hero.

Moses, a stuttering social outcast, Gideon was hiding when he was given his mission, Jesus was born in a stable and his disciples were the debt collectors and grocery store keepers of his time, not exactly high & mighty or powerful & influential. God is in the business Jericho walls falling at the sound of trumpets, he uses what is lowly and humble. He often passes over the great and mighty.

He is less into celebrity and more into community.

It doesn't matter what I see, it doesn't matter how I feel. My hope is in God's promises. My circumstances might scream "impossible!!" My hope is in the God of the impossible.

Read: Genesis 39-40

- What is Joseph's status at the beginning of this story? (39:1)

- What major change happens in Jospeh's circumstances? (39:19-20)

- How does Joseph's story end for today? (40:23)

In the middle of this story we get a peek into how Joseph was processing his circumstances (see 40:15) and if I'm honest I feel the same way right this minute. I feel like I'm laying here, filled with so much unhappiness and restlessness and sometimes it feels like this waiting season is exactly like a prison and my heart is echoing Joseph's "I didn't do anything to deserve being thrown in here!!!" Now maybe that's ungodly self-righteousness talking but I think we can all relate. Life just feels like it is falling to pieces and it's not my fault.

- What was God's proximity to and attitude towards Joseph during these difficult times? (39:2-3, 21-23)

- Was Jospeh being punished for his sinful actions? (39:8-9)

I have spent a season waiting like this - feeling a very strong calling yet watching the door slam in my face over and over again. It feels awful - maybe you know this from experience too.

Sometimes when we have been waiting for a long time it feels like it would be foolish to hang onto hope, I have felt like that a lot lately, but God brought this verse across my path recently, a verse I've read a hundred times but never paid attention to until now:




“and hope does not put us to shame, 
because God's love has been poured into our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” 
Romans 5:5 ESV (emphasis added)



Keep on in your waiting, friend, keep on believing, keep on clinging to hope - your hope will never put you to shame. Write a prayer of hope to God, let the Holy Spirit remind you to set your hope in God, no matter how contrary your experience feels at the moment.

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