On Sunday I shared about how God can use the really challenging moments in our lives to build strength into us. I believe that God can use the worst trial, for His glory, and can even bring about a great outcome for our future.

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I’ve found in life that sometimes bad things can happen to good people. Joseph in the bible found himself in a situation like that. He had some big dreams from God, but before anything good could happen he was sold into slavery from his own family. Then to add insult to injury, he found himself in jail for something he didn’t do! Pretty unfair!

Psalm 105:16-19 NLT
He called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply. Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them- Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph’s character.

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Now if you know the end of the story, Joseph was used powerfully by God to save all of Egypt. But was sitting jail with the years were ticking by, it would of been easy for him to give up hope on those dreams!

But Joseph didn’t doubt Gods calling on his life! Instead he pressed into God and got a new strength on the inside… He got iron in his soul!

Psalm 105:18 AMP
His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron.

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Pastor Rod (our Senior Pastor) shared this verse with some of us recently, and I love this picture! Instead of the trial breaking Joseph, it gave him a new place of strength in God! His trial taught him things, and developed in him a strength of character, a faith in God, that comfortable times could never have produced!

I think for this reason, the bible verse below makes a lot of sense.

James 1:2-4 NIV
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Perseverance… another way of saying a ‘gutsy-ness’ in your soul!

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So be encouraged. If you are facing a trial, maybe God is doing a great work inside of you and preparing you for great things to come! Keep pressing into Jesus for strength though journaling, prayer, and worship. And make sure you are around encouraging, faith-filled people that are going to speak life over your situation. Thats what church and Lifegroup are all about!

Richard

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