I shared last week that I am going to try to keep my Thoughtful Thursdays easy this summer as I travel by sharing thoughts from a few books from John C. Maxwell. This week, I read about Joseph in Maxwell’s book called Running with the Giants.
This book’s subtitle is “What Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know about Life and Leadership.” Since John Maxwell does training for those in leadership, he gears many of his books to this niche as well. Often, he goes in a different direction than my mind takes me, but his books are simple to read with great quotes, and they spur me to think. He gears this chapter about Joseph to center on Joseph’s dreams that seemed impossible but yet were fulfilled. He then applies it to his readers by saying we too should not give up on dreams, no matter the obstacles.
I love Maxwell’s optimism and his statement when he says, “But when your dream comes from God, the dream holds you when you feel unable to hold it.” I agree that if it’s God’s leading in your life to do what looks impossible, that we need to keep pressing on and not give up. However, I know that I have had dreams that do not turn out the way I first dreamed — because that is not what God wanted for me. So we do have to make sure that our dreams are God’s desires for us.
Just like the Esther chapter, I took a slightly different slant than John Maxwell as I considered Joseph’s post.
As I read, I considered how Joseph never gave up — not just on his dream, but on his God.
He had his share of hard knocks — much harder than I have ever undergone, but he kept his faith in God and did what is right.
Maxwell shares this when he says,
Look at the surprises Joseph lived through and how he reacted:
- Misunderstood by His family Give up?
- Sold into slavery by his brothers Give up?
- Living in a strange country far from home Give up?
- Given favor in Potiphar’s house Go on!
- Wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife Give up?
- Thrown into prison Give up?
- Put in charge of all the prisoners Go on!
- Forgotten by the chief butler Give up?
- Remained in prison two years Give up?
- Interpreted Pharoah’s dream Go on!
- Became second in command of Egypt Go on!
He goes on to say,
How did Joseph have the strength not to give up on his dream? Every time he found himself in a give-up time of life, he realized that the Lord was with him.
And that’s just true for life– not just our dreams. As I was in a phone conversation with someone this week talking about a friend who was very discouraged and as I tried to encourage another person in church last night, I considered the fact that
it’s not just dreams people give up on in the hard times. It’s God Himself.
They think God no longer cares. Or that God is not real. Or that life is not worth living. Or that they don’t matter. They give up on the One who made them. They give up on where God placed them. They give up on the people they are supposed to help. They give up on remembering that God has placed them in those hard places for a purpose. They give up on the knowledge that God knows best.
I have to admit that this is easy to remember in the good times of life, and I am in a good time of life. But God is always good – even in what we consider our bad times. God is always with us, and like John Maxwell points out in this chapter, we can learn and grow and allow the tough times to help us to grow and become more Christ-like. So in those tough times, don’t give up . . . on God!
Here are some posts from last week’s link-up that I really enjoyed reading:
- 3 Meaningful Ways to Teach Girls to Love Themselves from Kori at Home
- 5 Spiritual Lessons Learned from Our House Renovation from Women Abiding
- Summer Reading List for Christian Moms + Free Printable from Sarah E Koontz
- 10 Thoughtful Questions For Moms Who Want To Raise Godly Children from Purposeful and Meaningful
- 5 Great Household Cleaning Hacks from A Mama’s Story
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