It’s no use. I didn’t succeed before. Nothing’s changed. Why should I expect a different outcome? It’s inevitable. All of us have at one time or another had those thoughts run through our hearts. It might have been for an hour, a day, a week, month, or even years. There is nothing that Satan would like more than to convince believers that there is no hope.
ENTITLED TO EXITING LIFE
I love true stories and listened to https://compelledpodcast.com/episodes/behind-the-scenes-hannah-overton Hannah’s story is beyond “compelling” (a little nod to the podcast company). She was falsely accused of killing her 4-year-old foster son. Subsequently, she was convicted and sentenced to life. This mother of six had to transition from being a homeschooling mother of six to being a resident of a maximum-security prison. That was her new home address for seven years. So many times, especially at the beginning, she resigned to resentment, depression and even became suicidal. Everyone would think she was entitled to exiting from life.
That’s probably exactly the same thought that tempted Joseph in the Book of Genesis when he was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, became a prison resident, was given a brief glimpse of hope (which was quickly shut down). He spent a number of years before the tide changed. The most important thing about Joseph’s story is that even when he was in darkness, God never forgot Him. That is the reason why day in and day out, even in the most challenging circumstances, Joseph behaved in a way that honored God. He didn’t resign. Joseph chose to make God the ruler of his life, rather than the slave owners and the prison masters.
The foundation of Joseph’s life is found in Genesis 50. Joseph had risen to be the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt. Upon the death of their father, the brothers who had sold Joseph into slavery so many years ago were afraid that Joseph would now seek revenge on them. Joseph’s response to his brothers’ terror is, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” (Gen. 50:19-20)
THE ANTIDOTE TO HOPELESSNESS
A life-preserver is only of use when a person grabs on to it and hold on for dear life. The Savior can only save those who grab hold of Him and choose to keep holding on. The central attitude that carried Joseph was, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” The best antidote to hopelessness is truth. Trying reading Psalm 91 this week. Let it marinate in your soul.