I often wonder how frustrated Joseph the Dreamer must have been to have had such a grand vision of his future only to find himself bruised and betrayed at the bottom of an empty water well. Then, like a rollercoaster ride, he experienced a number of unexpected promotions as well as a series of unfortunate events. Yet, while he was repeatedly rejected, accused, or constrained, “the Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:3 NIV), and he found himself placed in positions of significant influence.
How often do we find ourselves in similar situations where, for reasons beyond our control, we are also dismissed or forced into positions that seem contrary to what we believed the call of God was for our life? It can be a lonely and demoralising place to be and cause you to question whether the calling you believed in is truly what you have received from God. Perhaps you have pursued a specific education, undertaken special training, or invested time and money into a venture in obedience to what God asked you to do. You may have been successful but, like Joseph, setbacks and delays make it all seem like you’ll never fulfil the dream.
In these moments, there are many ways we can respond. We can strive for self-improvement. We can throw in the towel. However, sometimes we just need to stop analysing everything and simply recalibrate the goal, which is to bring glory to God in everything we do. Paul reminds us of what is true in every situation:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV).
If God has prepared good works for you in advance, then He may lead you into unusual and sometimes puzzling situations to position you for the next phase of his grand plan. We don’t have to fret whether we’re on track or not. We can simply regard each of them as an opportunity for us to boast in God’s grace. And remember, the Lord is with you—just as He was with Joseph!