Breaking the Habit of Negativity
The account of Joseph in the Bible is fascinating. We have the advantage of seeing the big picture as God is at work in the lives of His people. When we’re in the midst of difficult circumstances it’s hard to see how it’s all going to work out, but we know that God always has a plan. He is orchestrating the pieces on the chessboard according to His perfect will and knowledge. He uses the natural world, like a famine. He uses the supernatural realm, like giving and interpreting dreams. He uses human nature, hardships, scheming brothers and even deceit to accomplish what He desires. His big-picture plan with Joseph and his family involves calling out a group of people, the Israelites, who will be His chosen instrument to bring the Messiah to the world.
In Genesis 42-43 we see the brothers back at home having left Simeon in Egypt as collateral for bringing back Benjamin. They have also discovered that their money has been returned to each of them in their sacks of grain, causing them to fear the worst. This was a great opportunity for the patriarch of the family, Jacob, to sit down and turn everyone’s attention off the problem and up to Jehovah God and say,
“Hey, let’s stop with the doom and gloom and consider that God might be at work in this. We now have food to survive, and our money back. Let’s tr
ust that there is a reason that this is happening. Let’s all get on our knees and pray!”
Unfortunately, Jacob goes negative & close-minded, thinking that all is lost. How do you react when you are faced with difficult situations? It’s true that we all have a tendency to think the worst and we often lash out and blame others. The principle to grasp here is that while difficulties are a normal aspect of life and are often out of our control, we can control our response to them.
I urge you to develop the healthy habit of forcing a vertical focus. This takes conscious effort and time. Saturate yourself in the Word of God! The Bible isn’t just a collection of interesting stories; it’s active, relevant and powerful because it’s authored by the living God. He wants to completely transform our thinking, which in turn changes our behavior. He wants us to let go of ourselves and trust.
Remember - your present situation is not your final destination - the best is yet to come!
Pastor Brian Richard