Do You Have a Waiting Kind of Faith?
A couple of years ago, God led me into a time of waiting. During that season, it seemed like my life stopped. Looking back, I see that God was using that time to draw me closer to Him in preparation for what was to come. In the midst of it, though, I couldn't quite see what God was doing. I begged Him to move—to act—but He didn't seem to be listening to my prayers. With hindsight, that time period makes more sense, but as I was walking through it, all I had was faith that God was somehow working behind the scenes.
When my life seemed to be standing still, I found myself often return to the story of Joseph in Genesis, Chapters 37 through 50. Joseph’s faith was the waiting kind, and his story has much to teach us about trusting God when life doesn't seem to make much sense.
Faith Is Patient
Before Joseph was the prime minister over Egypt, he was first a slave (sold there by his brothers) and then a prisoner (locked up for a crime he didn't commit). To say that his life had taken a couple of wrong turns would be an understatement. I’m sure there were nights in prison when Joseph cried out to God and begged him to change his lot in life, but the Bible gives us no indication that Joseph ever lost faith in the God he served. His trust in God had no time limit and no expiration date. In our modern world, we like to see things happen quickly, but faith requires that we place ourselves on God’s timetable.
Faith Serves God During Times of Adversity
While Joseph was in prison, God used him in the lives of two of Pharaoh’s servants, his cupbearer and his baker. Both were locked up for displeasing the king, and while they were in prison, God used Joseph to speak into their lives. The cup-bearer and the baker each received a dream, and God gave Joseph their meanings. Joseph could’ve refused to be used by God. He could’ve kept quiet, leaving the king’s servants to figure out their dreams for themselves, but he chose to serve God, even though, to anyone looking in on his life, it would seem God had abandoned him.
Faith Knows God Is the Author of the Story
As a slave in a far off land, we can be sure Joseph longed for home. And later, as a prisoner in Pharaoh’s dungeon, Joseph likely prayed for freedom. But God didn't answer his prayers the way Joseph ever imagined. Rather than a ticket home or just an open prison door, He gave Joseph the number-two position in all of Egypt, which at the time was the world’s great superpower. In doing so, God used Joseph to save the lives of many, many people, including his own family.
God’s plans for Joseph’s life were not in sync with Joseph’s plans, but they worked out far better than Joseph dared to dream. When we put our faith in God, we’re not to merely trust Him for a specific set of circumstances or blessing; we’re simply to trust Him. He knows what’s best for us far better than we do.
God is good, and He promises to work out all things for the good of those whom He has called (Romans 8:28-29). That was Joseph’s secret all along. He could look past his present condition—whether good or bad—to the God who never disappoints. The next time you find yourself in a time of waiting—in a season that seems like slavery or even prison—remember that God is still in control. He will not let you down.
Written by John Greco