Monday, November 25, 2019

Coping through Tough Times

We are living in interesting times. The world continues in a state of recession. The season of abundance seems to have come and gone and now the season of recession seems to be entrenching itself. People are finding that times are difficult and the effects of this difficulty seem to be affecting the whole world. Economies are shrinking and jobs are being lost. As I was contemplating these issues, I began to realize that there is a story in the Bible about a similar situation that took place.

If you've heard of or seen the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" then you know something of the Bible story based on the "coat of many colours" story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis. 

Life can be very unpredictable. In this story set in Egypt, a long season of abundance had given way to a season of lack. Abundance had given way to famine.  Although they had been told that there would be seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine, they must have wondered if things would ever change. But in life, things change. What we thought would never change can and does change. It is not always what we expected or anticipated. I once heard someone say: ‘Life is what happens while you are making other plans!’ 

However, despite the changeability and unpredictability, God had a plan. Today, in the things you are facing, you too can know that God has a plan. God had raised up Joseph over many years and had given him a strategy to be able to handle the challenges of the next season. The answer to the next season was already provided! God had used Joseph to put a plan in place that would make provision for the years of famine. 

The plan was that during the years of abundance, the surplus would be set aside and stored, so that when the season changed there would be sufficient provision to see them through the lean years. This plan that God had given Joseph had been implemented and now God’s plan would become a reality. The accounts and stories in the Bible are always about the fact that God has a plan to see His people through and to bring His people closer to His plan for them. You may be facing difficulties and challenges today, but let me remind you that God has got a plan for you in your situation!

Why Joseph waited until the famine had spread to the whole country before the provision was made available, I do not know. Why God seems to wait until our situation is severe before He brings relief, I do not know. But this seems to be a pattern. Perhaps God is waiting for us to come to the end of ourselves, so that we will truly depend on Him? But whatever the case may be, when it got to this critical point, Joseph opened the storehouses! In the same way, when the time is right, God will open His storehouse to meet your and my need. That need can only to be fully met in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who He sent to be the Saviour of the world.

Written by a guest blogger

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