In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
II Corinthians 11:23
Do your problems cause you to lose your religion or use your religion?
Joseph, in the book of Genesis, had plenty of reason to despair and lose his faith. His eleven brothers were jealous of him, and so they sold him into slavery. And that is the good news; they originally had planned to kill him! While a slave, Joseph experienced seduction and slander. Because he wouldn’t succumb to the romantic overtures of his master’s wife, he was framed and thrown into prison. While in prison he helped free two men who were about to lose their heads. One of them promised to help Joseph once he himself was released.
Through it all, Joseph never lost sight of God’s sovereignty. His basic belief was that God can turn other people’s cruelty into good. This belief kept Joseph going. He coveted God’s blessing on his life more than he desired immediate gratification. Because of this belief, Joseph did his best wherever he was. As a slave and as a prisoner, the quality of his relationship with God positively affected the quality of his work. And when troubles struck, Joseph used his religion. His faith in God anchored him for all the storms life would throw at him.
Prayer: Lord, help me view my problems as an opportunity for strengthening my faith in You.