Saturday, 17 August 2013

Sunshine Behind the Storm #2: Praising the Lord for Trials

Hello again everyone! 

I am really excited to introduce the second article in the series "Sunshine Behind the Storm". This article is written by a fellow blogger, Micaela, from the US. She blogs over at Everyday Encouragements and has a ministry for young women called Hearts for Purity which I highly recommend you check out. She also contributes articles for the Radiant Girls of God {RGOG} blog. Her writing and ministry has really challenged and encouraged me, so thank you Micaela and may the Lord use your writing for His glory!


When someone asks me about trials, one of the first people I think of is Joseph. His life started out well enough, but then it took a turn for the worse. He had more downs than ups. 

But let me tell you a little about him.

Joseph was the favorite son, hated by his brothers. They plotted to kill Joseph, but instead sold him into slavery. Joseph was taken from Canaan to Egypt, where he was purchased by Potipher, captain of the guard under Pharoh. Joseph was a beloved servant in Potipher's house...until Potipher's wife lied about Joseph. He was thrown in prison, to be forgotten for three years. When he was released, God used Joseph to interpret Pharoh's disturbing dreams. Joseph was promoted to second in command in the land of Egypt. He was put in charge of preparing for the foretold famine. When the famine came, it struck not only Egypt, but Canaan as well. This drove Joseph's brothers to come and buy grain in Egypt. Later on, Joseph revealed to them who he was. The brothers were remorseful for their treatment of Joseph, yet he forgave them.

Joseph could have been angry or bitter toward those who had wronged him, or even toward God. But when he looked back over his life, Joseph wasn't either of those things. When asked, he simply said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” { Gen. 50:20 }

God's plans were perfect, and Joseph realized that. He could see, in retrospect, that God had been in control all along. His life was not wasted, his pain had a purpose. God knew what He was doing.

And the same applies to us.

I went through a time in my life, not too long ago, when I thought I knew what God was doing. I could see His fingerprints all over the place in what had happened thus far. Then, He threw in a twist. Everything I had thought came crashing down around me. I didn't know what to do or think anymore. It was like I'd been on a roller coaster, climbing higher, higher, higher, and then came the huge drop, sudden and totally unexpected. I didn't understand what was going on. I kept asking God, “Why?” 

Then I realized I needed to praise Him. I needed to give Him the honor and glory for whatever it was that He was doing in my life. I still don't know exactly why He did what He did, but I have the same response that Joseph had: one of confidence, thankfulness, and praise for God's perfect plan.

Now, whenever I think of that experience that drew me ever so near to my Savior, and then the disappointment that came with the 'curveball', I choose to praise Him for it all. One of my favorite passages to pray is Psalm 9:1-2 I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
 
Praising God for trials isn't easy. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

To finish, I'd like to share with you a song about giving God glory amid trials, and realizing that He has a bigger plan for us, than we have for ourselves.

{ Note: this is from the Dreamworks movie about Joseph's life, “Joseph, King of Dreams” --one of the reasons it fits so well ;) }


"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
God Bless!!
~ Micaela 

Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Micaela! Joseph really is a powerful reminder that God works all things together for our good, whether or not we can see that (and I love that song!!!) :D Help us all, Lord, to trust in You and that You have Your hand in each and every situation of our lives, be it good or bad.

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