Staying Faithful (Part 1)

Blessed be the Lord, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.” But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy when I cried to you for help. Love the Lord, all you his saints! The Lord preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord! (Psalm 31:21-24 ESV).

If I were to fully title this devotional it would need to speak to staying faithful even when things seem to get worse. It has been very interesting to see so many people pointing fingers at what should have been done prior to Hurricane. Others have singled out what they believe to be gross negligence during the crisis. Still others have been quick to offer their opinions why it happened in the first place. These people have been of the most interest to me. Some have even suggested that if people would have prayed more God would have protected them from the storm; others suggested that the storm was a punishment from God because of political leanings. Of course, those opinions are extreme, but they are being voiced. I began to think of today’s reading and God’s simple call to remain faithful even when circumstances seem to worsen.

This is the life of Joseph. His story is our best teacher. Genesis chapters 37-41 only tell the low and high points of Joseph’s Egyptian slavery and imprisonment. But he spent at least 12 years there before he suddenly became Prime Minister. And as he sought to trust and obey God during that terribly lonely, desolate time, things went from bad to worse. In the next few days we’re going to spend some time looking at Joseph’s example of faithfulness. We’ll get more specific, however, here are some thoughts:

  • Never forget the end of the journey. Everything in this life, good or bad, is prelude for the incredible home that God is preparing for us.
  • Believe me when I say I do get it. Just thinking about one more step is often more than one can bear. However, taking it is a key to overcoming.
  • Don’t give up your trust in the promises of God. If history has proven anything, it is that God is trustworthy. He will deliver us safely to our eternal home.
  • Don’t give up praying. Even when you think God is somehow absent, remember that he has promised to hear all our prayers and delights when we come to him (cf. Matthew 6).
  • Stay connected to the community of faith. Satan wants you discouraged, disconnected, and isolated. Stay close to those who can pray, lift you up and help you in the hard times.

I hope these next days will be as much an encouragement to you as they have been to me.