Have you found yourself in an unfair circumstance or situation you felt you didn’t deserve?
Maybe you got overlooked for a promotion at your job.
Maybe you didn’t get accepted into the school of your choice.
Or, maybe you’re in a marriage that seems to be one sided.
Either way, we’ve all, at some point or another, experienced times that were not our first choice.
There have been times we wished God would have done something differently.
And times where we didn’t want to accept our lot.
But, how are we to respond as Christians when we are put into those situations?
How exactly do we grow in the field God’s planted us?
Are we to complain and throw a tantrum?
How about demanding that God changes things or else?
If God is all loving, why does He allow us to struggle sometimes?
“Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24
Regardless the season you’re in, God is telling you that the race of the Christian faith requires strict discipline.
If it was always easy, where would the discipline we need come from?
Do You Have this Necessary Ingredient?
In Philippians 4:11 Paul says, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”
Contentment is necessary for your calling and spiritual growth.
In the Bible, Paul, who was a prisoner for the Lord, knew exactly what it was like to be in unfair circumstances that he didn’t deserve.
He walked closely with God more than today’s average Christian.
Yet he understood that the Christian walk was not about ease, but about heart.
Paul knew his calling was for his cause, not for his comfort.
Which was to share the gospel of the Lord to the lost wherever God led him.
God put Paul’s life in the Bible as an example of how affliction, adversity, and trials are to be expected in a believer’s life.
God also did that to show you that He is with you in it— encouraging you to press on.
All with learning the art of contentment and faith in the process.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” – Philippians 2:12-13
How Do You Wait For God’s Promises?
A great reminder for me is the story of Joseph.
I think about his life and what he went through when I’m discontent or doing something I don’t really care to do.
I think about how he had this amazing prophetic vision from God in a dream when he was a little boy.
A dream about one day being someone great.
Yet there he was:
- He was thrown in a pit and sold to some Egyptians by his own brothers.
- He served in Potiphar’s house as a slave cleaning, feeding the animals, scrubbing the floors, managing the house, and baking in the hot sun.
- He was thrown into prison for a crime he didn’t do.
He was very far from his dream ever becoming a reality.
I’m sure Joseph had moments where he thought, “This is not what it looked like in my dream”.
I’m sure he faced moments of questioning, doubt, and fear just like Paul did.
But did it stop him?
That’s because He bloomed where he was planted.
He chose to grow through his circumstances instead of withering away.
God had him exactly where he was appointed to be in that season of his life to prepare him for his future.
You see, when Joseph was with his family in the land of Canaan, he was a shepherd.
He led sheep not knowing that it was a picture of what was to come for him—one day he would lead an entire nation.
But did it happen overnight?
It actually took 13 years from the time he had the dream, to when the dream finally came to pass.
So what happened in between?
That was the time for him to grow through God’s pruning, preparation, and perfecting.
He had to go through trials and tests because that’s how God prepared him for his ultimate purpose.
And the same is true for all the promises and plans God has for you.
Perhaps you’re a college student and you can relate.
If you ever took a test and passed, it was because you prepared for it by studying.
Similarly, if you failed the test, it was because you weren’t prepared.
God prepares His kids by planting them in not so comfortable soil.
This soil, however, provides everything you need—preparing you for what’s to come.
God Will Grow Your Faith
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2
God was with Joseph in all that he did regardless of what is was.
Joseph knew God was with him and his actions showed it.
So much so, that even Potiphar saw that the Lord was with him.
Whether Joseph was a slave or a shepherd, Pharoah realized that he was a blessed and annointed man.
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did.” – Genesis 39:2-3
Joseph was tested as Potiphar’s slave—he bloomed and was put in charge of all the house.
He was thrown in prison—he bloomed and found favor with the guard and was put in charge of all the prisoners.
And ultimately he found favor with Pharaoh by interpreting his dream— he bloomed and was put second in command of the most powerful nation at that time in Egypt.
But it all started with those unfair, underserved, and unfavorable circumstances.
The uncomfortable soil that was 100% necessary to produce a character that matched his calling.
Remember that God has a purpose for your life.
He desires to grow you so He can use you for His glory and purpose.
But what’s the attitude of your heart?
Is it one of complaining, or cutting corners?
Or, is it one that chooses to be content and bloom wherever it’s planted?
You must accept each circumstance God has sovereignly placed you in.
And see it a lesson you need to learn, and time that you need to grow.
Only then will you be ready for how and when God wants to use you.
So what soil has God planted you in today?
Will you grow where you’re planted?
Or will you refuse to grow and wither away?