Life has a way of rocking our world in a variety of ways. There are times we find strength, and there are times we become despondent, perplexed, or even mad at God. These feelings can become so overwhelming that they affect our relationship with God and those around us, whether the children we parent, our marriages, extended family, church family, or even ourselves. We can feel helpless and defeated, which can lead to isolation. We are not the only people who have experienced this. There are great men of God like Elijah (1 Kings 17-19), David (Psalm 28, 42, etc), and even Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:13, “When you come bring the cloak …….. . Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (NASB) How can we, like Paul, learn to grow through these times rather than feel defeated and distant from God and others?

The pain that Joseph experienced was expressed every time Joseph spoke to his brothers; several times, we read how Joseph wept. It did not say Joseph cried; it said he wept (Genesis 42:24; 43:30; 45:2; 50:17). When Joseph finally saw his father after twelve years, a father that loved him and he loved Joseph “fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.” (Genesis 46:29). Despite Joseph’s pain Joseph maintained his faith in the Lord (Genesis 39:11-18; 45:4-15) and this allowed the Lord to powerfully use him so that he went from ‘Pain to Promise.’ In other words, Joseph’s pain, because of his faith, shaped him to mature in his walk with God, which led God to bless him and promote him to be a redeemer. He became so powerful he managed a nation and became a type of Christ. Our lives may never be free of pain, but it should not prevent us from trusting God’s 7000 promises.

When our circumstances don’t change, remember God is unchangeable (Hebrews 6:18), and all-powerful. Nothing is impossible for God to accomplish (Luke 1:37). The only thing God chooses not to make us do but require from us is to trust Him like David before Goliath or Daniel in a Lion’s Den. Life is rocking. Remember God and His cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 11-12:3)