I heard a sermon on Sunday, from Pastor Tony Stewart at CityLife Church in Tampa, that has resignated in my spirit since. The following is some excerpts, and my own notes combined from that sermon.
Many times we question, when we are faced with adversity of any kind, be it financial, sickness, problems in the family dynamics, marriage, whatever the problem, we never take one step alone. And many times when going through, we cannot see the finality in the matter, it is not meant for us to see.
All that is expected of us, to those who believe, is to trust in God, to believe in His word and promises. These trials, they are meant to develop us, to shape us into who God has destined us to be. To see proof, take a look at Joseph in Genesis 37 is one of favoritism, envy, betrayal and deceit. It's not until 13 years later that it becomes a story of forgiveness, humility, love and restoration. Yet the end of the story of Joseph is a mirror image of the dreams that he had as a youth -- that one day his family would bow before him.
With jealousy as a motive, Joseph's 11 brothers attempted to prevent those dreams from being fulfilled by selling him as a slave to a band of traders. In their minds, to send Joseph into the lowest social class possible guaranteed they would never have to subject themselves to the humiliation of bowing to the brother they envied. But God, the giver of dreams and visions, had already confirmed the outcome.
And the trials Joseph faced from there, Joseph experiences life as a servant, during which he is falsely accused of a crime by Potiphar's wife, followed by several years in prison. Eventually Joseph is made second in command over all of Egypt, which allows him to save his entire family during a time of famine. It's a success story made in heaven, one that offers a message of hope in the midst of trials for those that read it.
God’s covering, brings connection. God’s connection, brings favor. Always expose yourself to good input. I know, sometimes it is very difficult to do. But think the right thoughts, speak the right way. Celebrate the good in other’s whose dreams are being fulfilled. God will use ANY moment in our lives to bring our dream into fruition. Keep your dream in your spirit, no one nor thing can take the dream from there.
Any trial, pit or downfall, IS NOT our final chapter, “If god be for me, who can be against me?” Do not wrap yourself in the cloak of disappointment, wrap yourself in the cloak of praise, being grateful that God is fulfilling your dream. Hold onto the dream you have for your life.