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Period Of Preparation

“One time Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭37:5‬ ‭GNT‬‬

Joseph is one of those people in the Bible that no matter how many times I read his story, I always learn more. He was disliked by his own brothers, sold as a slave, lied about, put in prison, I pressed the pharaoh, got promoted to second in command and saved his family. One of the catalysts for this series of events in his life was a dream that God gave him. I’m sure he was excited about what God showed him and he just wanted to share it.

Has that ever happened to you? It has to me. God gave me a vision of the ministry He was calling me to. At first I was terrified and ran from it. When I finally embraced it and gave in, things began happening quickly in my life. People of influence in my life asked what was going on. When I shared with them what was happening, they said, “Well, don’t get too carried away. I don’t know that God will keep doing it like that. Slow down and be patient.” Just like that, the air was let out of my ballon. I lost my momentum and faith in what God called me to.

Another friend recently asked about my calling. After a few minutes of beating around the bush, i finally told him. His response was, “A calling like that requires preparation and that’s what God is doing right now in your life.” It breathed new life into me. Just like Joseph had to go through these years of slavery and imprisonment to prepare him to fulfill the dream God gave him, you and I have to go through preparations too.

If you feel like God has forgotten the dream He gave you or you shared that dream and were made fun of, keep holding on. God isn’t finished working out His plan in your life. It’s not too late. You’re not too far gone. Just like blowing on some embers can rekindle a fire, God can easily move in your life and complete that which He called you to. Look at this time as your period of preparation. It may feel like you’ve been forgotten in a prison in Egypt, but God is placing you where He needs you and giving you the tools to be successful.

Photo by Chase Lewis on Unsplash

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You Are Not Forgotten 

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

Despite what some people would have you believe, being a Christian doesn’t mean everything in your life will be fixed. You won’t win every battle, get every promotion, get rich, be the most attractive, be admired by everyone or be free from problems and stress. Those are not promised to us for being a Christian. In fact, Jesus put it this way in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (NIV).

In my life, I’ve been defeated, hurt, abandoned, broke and sucker punched. Those things didn’t make me less of a Christian. Instead they revealed how deep God’s grace is. When I’ve lost battles I desperately wanted to win, I found the peace that passes understanding. When I hit rock bottom and all my hope was gone, I found a firm foundation on which I could rebuild. The hardest times in my life didn’t make me less of a Christian. I would argue they made me a stronger one.

No matter how defeated I’ve been or how hopeless I’ve felt, God has used the struggle to strengthen me and my faith. He has brought healing to my deepest wounds and restored what the locust have stolen. His grace has been sufficient when my strength was gone. His love has endured through every trial and test. When my faith has failed, He was graciously patient with me and restored it. When I’ve lost battles I should have won, He gave me the strength to fight again.

Psalm 136:23 says, “He did not forget us when we were defeated; his love is eternal” (GNT). Of all the promises in God’s Word, this is one I really hang on to. When I’m defeated, He will not forget me. He won’t abandon me and leave me to drown in my self pity. His eternal love will restore my soul, fit the broken pieces back together again and be able to use me no matter how badly I’ve failed. In my weakness, I’ve found that He is strongest in my life. No matter what you face or are going through, God will not forget you. That’s a promise you can hold on to. 


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To abandon someone is to quit supporting them or to give up on them. If you’ve ever been through some of life’s toughest circumstances, you know what it’s like to be abandoned by some of your family or friends. You find out that there are people in your life that you can count on, and there are people that you can’t. When you’re looking for advice, a place to regroup, or just a shelter from the storm, some people that you seek out will abandon you. Some of the ones who you thought would support you through thick and thin give up on you.

David was a person who knew a thing or two about being abandoned. He was forgotten by his father, disrespected by his brothers, shamed by his wife, chased by the king, and dishonored by his son. The people in his life that he should have been able to count on, turned their backs on him at some point in his life. He knew a thing or two about rock bottom. He looked for those he could count on in times of trouble.

In all of his searching, there was one who never abandoned him. God. David wasn’t a perfect man either. He cheated on his wife, had a man murdered, and did some unthinkable things. Yet when he sought after God, he knew that no matter what he had done, God would not abandon him. He knew that there was nothing he had done that God couldn’t or wouldn’t forgive. When others gave up on him, God never did. In fact, God said he was a man after His own heart. 

You may have walked David’s shoes. Maybe you’ve been abandoned by those who love you or you’ve abandoned the things you know are right. Either way, if you will seek God, He won’t abandon you. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know you, Lord, will trust you; you do not abandon anyone who comes to you” (GNT). It doesn’t matter what’s been done to you or what you’ve done to others, you can find shelter, hope, and forgiveness in God when you seek Him out.

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The God Who Sees

Have you ever felt like God doesn’t see you? Does it feel like He doesn’t see you or even know your name? It sometimes can feel like God has forgotten you when things aren’t going your way. Hagar, Sarai’s maid servant, felt that way. She had been handed over to Abram as a wife by her master with the intent of getting pregnant and giving up her child to Sarai. No one asked her or God if that’s what they wanted, but here she was pregnant with Abram’s seed. She was despised by Sarai and chased off.

She found herself going from a place of security to insecurity. She went from knowing where she was going to sleep and not having to worry about food to being homeless and hungry. She broke down in the desert. She wept and cried out to God. He sent an angel to meet her in the wilderness. He called her by name in Genesis 16:8. He said, “Hagar, where have you come from and where are you going?” (NLT)

The angel of God knew where she was and her name just like He knows your name and where you are. You may be crying in the wilderness because you’ve been done wrong as well, but God sees you. He will meet you in that place and bless you. He will not leave you in the wilderness unprotected and despondent. When you cry out to Him, He will answer because you are not forgotten. You are important to Him and are not hidden from His view.

In verse 13, she calls God by a new name, El-Roi. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” In that moment, the doubts fled. She knew that God saw her broken in the wilderness. If He saw her, then He sees you. Each one of us are important to Him. You don’t have to be living the blessed life for Him to know where you are. You can be a single mom who is homeless and not sure where to go or what to do like Hagar, and God will hear your cry because He sees you. No matter how bad things are, you are not forgotten. God sees you and will meet you in your wilderness.

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You Are Not Forgotten


I was talking to a friend last night at church about how he was doing since returning from our trip to Haiti. He, like many of us who went, has had a hard time readjusting to life here. He said, “In the first few days back, I kept trying to process the poverty and devastation that I saw there. It was overloading my mind and I couldn’t take it. I finally had to quit trying to process how people just like you and me live in that devastation and still get up, get dressed in a shirt and tie and go to work.”

He’s right. I’ve been to a lot of third world countries and seen poverty. Haiti was somehow different. I don’t know if it was the worst I’ve seen or that it just seemed like the worst because most people there seemed to have no hope. The unemployment rate is above 50% and the ones that do have jobs only make between $2 and $5 a day. Most of us make more in an hour than they will all week.

With hopelessness comes the thought that God has forgotten you. People here experience that. I know I have. You probably have to at some point in your life. If you are there right now, you’re not alone. Not everyone has been in your exact circumstance, but plenty have felt that they’ve been forsaken by God. Jesus felt that way too. When He was hanging on the cross, he cried out, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”

I’ve never given much thought to Him saying that on the cross because I knew what was going to happen 3 days later. He wasn’t forsaken and neither are you. He had to go through that so that He could identify with us when we feel forsaken. I Peter 4:1 says, “Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like Him.” He knows what it’s like to think you’re alone in this world and to even be forgotten by God.

Since He knows what you’re feeling, He won’t leave you in that place. What I learned in my own life is that had I not gone through that time of thinking He had forgotten me, I couldn’t fully rely on Him now. Psalm 139:7 tells us that there is no where on this earth that we can go to get away from God’s presence. Even if you can’t feel or see God, He’s there with you in that dark place. He has not forgotten you. He has not forsaken you. Rest in the hope that He will bring you out of that valley and bring you into His marvelous light. He did it for Jesus. He did it for me. He will do it for you.

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Hope for Your Dream

I have been thinking a lot about Joseph, the son of Jacob. I have committed to do a study on him to see what I can glean from his life. We know how his father gave him a coat of many colors and how his brothers despised him, but I want to know who he really was and how we can apply things from his life to ours. I’m sure you’ll be seeing more posts about him soon. His story is found in Genesis 37-45.

Today, I want to focus on him in prison. Many years had passed since God had given him a dream that his family would bow down to him. I can imagine Joseph sitting in that prison wondering about that dream. I wonder if he wished he had never told his brothers about the dream God gave him. After he told them, they threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery where he was falsely accused and now sitting in a prison to rot.

I think a lot of us are at that point right now. God birthed a dream in you and you began to share it. You then noticed that when you shared it, things in your life began to fall apart. When things in our lives fall apart, we begin to seclude ourselves. We pull back from others. It may be because you don’t want them to catch your bad luck, because you want to protect them from anything bad coming your way or you could just be embarrassed from everything that’s happening.

When we seclude ourselves, we build walls. When we build walls, we find ourselves in prison like Joseph. You may not be in a physical prison like he was, but you are still secluded and alone making you feel like you’re in prison. It’s easy to sit in that prison and think that the dream is dead. It is not! Just like a seed planted in the earth grows dormant so that it can grow, the dream God placed in you may be dormant before it can grow.

I personally know the pain of thinking that a dream is dead due to circumstances. God’s promises are not bound by the circumstances in your life. He is not unaware of what you are facing today. You cannot let your circumstances dictate that the dream is dead. If God has planted it, He will grow it no matter where you are or what you’re going through. His Word never returns void. It’s in the depths of our prisons that our dreams can grow. In those dark places where we think there is no life, God is there cultivating you and that dream.

It often takes us getting to the end of our rope before the dream comes back alive so that we will always know that the dream was realized not by our own strength or doing, but by God alone. He is the one who gave it to you and He is the one who will fulfill it. You, like Joseph, are simply being put into position for the realization of your dream. If Joseph had never been in prison, no one would have known he could interpret the Pharaoh’s dream and his family would have been lost.

If you’re in that dark prison today, don’t despair. Keep hope with you. Know that God is putting you into position so that dream can be realized. God is working in your life through the good and the bad to bring about what He promised. He works all things together for your good. You are not alone. You are not forgotten in your prison. You have a God who sees you, loves you and is working for your good. Continue to trust Him and be patient.


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