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Intro : When we come across challenging situations in our walk as christians, sometimes we might have some doubt that it was God that led us in that particular direction. Usually this feeling arises when we experience hardships that we did not envision that we would encounter whilst following the direction that God gave us. However, it is important to understand that he has the overview of our lives, that we are not always privy to, and knows why he is leading you on a particular path. As such, continue to believe in God and you will be taken much further than you could possibly imagine.

Genesis 39:2-3 Illustrates the nature of Joseph’s life, one in which God was with him and thus he was able to prosper.  Although he was successful, his life was filled with difficult situations and circumstances that were instrumental to his journey to success. The jealousy his brothers felt for him, as the favoured one amongst them in their fathers eye, led them to throw him into a pit and later sell him off as a slave. This marked the beginning of the sequence of events that would lead Joseph to eventually become a governor of Egypt. 

If we are to look at Joseph’s negative experiences in the present day, it would be easy to assume God had rejected and abandoned him based on all the trials he faced. However, at a closer look, we understand that the situations that Joseph experienced were ones that God himself had set out for him as a form of preparation for his future role. God already knew the outcome of all his struggles.  The position that he ended up obtaining would not have happened had he stayed at his father’s house. Joseph had to go through those difficulties to prepare him for governership. You see, God takes us and transforms us until we reach the level He intends for us.

Sometimes we encounter situations, more difficult than we anticipated, that make us question if God still loves us, or is still with us. However, the life of Joseph is testament of how to navigate that difficult path, being prudent not to complain during those challenging situations.  You may encounter some bad days that are not easy to bare, but, always remember that you can always lean on God and trust in Him during that process.  God alone knows your future and what is certain for your tomorrow. All we need to do is walk as far as God takes us.  Follow what He tells us to do regardless of the associated challenges. If He is with us, leading us through it, He will always protect us no matter what may come our way. 

If God is taking us in a certain direction,  only He knows the reasoning behind it. He might not reveal the reason immediately. For example, Abraham was instructed to leave his father’s house and to go to the land God would show him. He had to take a leap of faith by trusting the plans that God had for him by making that initial physical step to follow the instruction. He had to rely solely on his communication with God to ascertain the right direction (Genesis 12).

Nowadays, the challenges may not be as visually evident as in days of old. The challenges church’s might face that hinder progression can lie in an underlying element of fear that manifests in different ways. It can manifest as a financial giant,  a demonic giant or even in self doubt within the body of Christ or false feeling of unworthiness to complete the work of God. However, do not let these giants overshadow the understanding in the greatness of the power of God. Be careful not be over spiritual. Realise certain battles require physical attributes to proceed. When God spoke to Joshua he told him to be courageous (Joshua 1). God did not say He would GIVE him courage, but there was a requirement for Joshua to work on aspects of his own character to enable God to work within him. As important as it is to work on our spiritual self, we cannot neglect sharpening elements of our characteristics that make us useful to God. He is waiting on us to use our own abilities to do certain things.

Is your character influenced by your environment, or is your environment influenced by your character? Does your character change based on your environment, or does the environment change based on your character? These are important questions to ask. Taking a closer look at the lives of Joseph and Daniel, we find that they did not change themselves, or their beliefs even in the face of adversity in a foreign land. Instead they made an impact despite being foreigners there their strength of character and unwavering trust in God.

The ability to put your faith into action also affects your perception on aspects of your christianity,  even as a church at large. One might focus on the difficulty of a particular moment and forget their knowledge of momentous scriptures like Psalms 23 that declare the Lord as our ultimate shepherd.  It is this very reason the bible in Hebrews 4:2, warns us that even though we have been given the word, it is ineffective because we have not mixed it with our faith. You see,  faith requires action. It is that initial leap of faith to kick start things and put the ball in motion in your life. Faith is also the knowledge that even if you encounter hardships you will eventually reach the destination that God intends.

In conclusion,  miracles start from the moment we believe in the word. As you go about your daily day to day, never forget to ponder on how the scriptures relate to you. Why, because the word is prophetic and spiritual. If this understanding is missed, you might fail to see the tools that God has placed in your hands. Or miss the opportunity to turn situations around so that they become a blessing instead of a challenge to you. Do not let the events that you read about in the bible remain as mere stories, but be encouraged by them. Learn from them. Let God transform your life through your understanding of them.

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