Devoted Blog

STAYING THE PATH – When Prayers Haven’t Been Answered

March 15, 2017

Blog by Rachel Brown

I believe we were created to want to make a difference, we were created to live for something greater than ourselves. We all have dreams and thoughts about how we think our life will turn out, but often life throws us unexpected situations and circumstances.  So how do we stay the path, when life doesn’t work out the way you thought?

Let’s look at the life of Joseph and glean from his life.  We can learn to stay our path, stay our course, even when things around us aren’t going the way we planned.

The background story on Joseph (you can read the whole story of Joseph & his brothers in Genesis chapters 37 through to 45).

  • He was the youngest in his family and the child of Jacob (Israel) and Rachel
  • He was his father’s favorite son (because he was born in his old age)
  • His brothers despised him (and at times didn’t even talk to him)
  • When he was 17 years of age he had a dream

Do you remember being 17 and dreaming about what life has in store for you?

Genesis 37:5-11 MSG
Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, “Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine.”

His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?” And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.

He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: “I dreamed another dream—the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!”

When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him: “What’s with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?” Now his brothers were really jealous; but his father brooded over the whole business.

  1. To stay the path – use wisdom when sharing your dreams 

There will be people in your life that may not understand the dreams you have in your heart.  Often the people closest to you are so familiar with you that it can be difficult for them to see the potential in you.

Even Jesus had people who became familiar with him and his ability.

 John 1:46b MSG
It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”

Don’t be surrounding yourself with people who say – You’re kidding.  Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on.

Genesis 39:1-6 MSG
After Joseph had been taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelites, Potiphar an Egyptian, one of Pharaoh’s officials and the manager of his household, bought him from them. As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.

2. To Stay the Path – serve others
Be diligent with what God has given you and be excellent at it. Excellence is not perfection, excellence is doing things to the best of your ability.

If you want to own a business (be faithful and work hard in the job you have now) – work as if you owned the business.

Stay active – the last thing you may want to do is help someone out – but I encourage you, it’s the BEST thing you can do.  It will refresh you, it will make you feel better, and it will give you a different perspective.

Genesis 39:20-23 MSG
When his master heard his wife’s story, telling him, “These are the things your slave did to me,” he was furious. Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were locked up. But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.

3. To Stay the Path – position yourself well
Joseph was faithful in the tasks set before him. He didn’t get frustrated, he excelled in the place he was put. Living this way is something we decide to do way before it gets tested. If you make faithfulness in the little your life pattern now – it will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Sometimes we can position ourselves in a wrong thought pattern. Be attentive to any negativity coming out of your mouth, & even more attentive to your self-talk.

We can also position ourselves with wrong friendships. Are your friendships moving you closer to your God-destiny – or further away?

Do the basics:
– Spend time with God
– Stay connected to church
– Stay connected with great people

Genesis 41:41-43 MSG
So Pharaoh commissioned Joseph: “I’m putting you in charge of the entire country of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his finger and slipped it on Joseph’s hand. He outfitted him in robes of the best linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He put the second-in-command chariot at his disposal, and as he rode people shouted “Bravo!” Joseph was in charge of the entire country of Egypt.

4. To Stay the Path – understand God’s timing is perfect
Don’t get frustrated with your present, God is working on your behalf.

We can take a lesson from the Chinese Bamboo Tree…

  • You plant the seed, water it, fertilize it
  • You won’t see anything for 4 years (not a thing!!!)
  • And then in its 5th year in 6 weeks it will grow to 90 feet tall (3 feet per day)
  • During those 4 year unseen years it was developing an extensive root system that would sustain and nurture its incredible explosive growth
  1. To Stay the Path – don’t give up

Ephesians 3:20-21The Message (MSG)
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within

The very thing that the enemy may use to try and take us out, is the very thing God will use to help influence and save others. Never give up!