When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.~Ephesians 3:14-16 NLT
The difficulties of surviving the COVID pandemic weighed heavily on me.
Four months before the chaos broke loose, I moved to a new state. Staying at home, not interacting with others or making new friends became a challenge. When I woke one morning, the worship song in my head was quickly replaced with a negative thought. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I allowed the enemy to steal my peace. Despite my prayer for the misleading spirit to leave, it lingered as a heaviness in my chest, reminding me of its haunting presence.
Items I ordered online were ready for pick-up, so I hopped in the car hoping the fresh air would clear my head before the ill mood overflowed to my family. During the drive home, the Holy Spirit planted a word on my heart—run the race set before you. At first, I wondered what this verse in Hebrews had to do with my lack of inner peace, until one of my favorite Bible stories came to mind, the story of Joseph.
At the age of seventeen, Joseph’s world turned upside down. His brothers plotted to kill him, but instead sold him to slave traders who took him to Egypt. To make matters worse, his Egyptian master’s wife accused Joseph of making advances and he ended up in prison for over ten years. Throughout all the wretched situations this young man endured, God blessed and gave Joseph favor in everything he did.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.~Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV
While in prison, Joseph interpreted dreams for two of Pharaoh’s chief servants, and both came true. The cup-holder, who was later restored to his original position, as foretold by Joseph, forgot about the young seer for two years until Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men could not interpret his troubling visions.
God gave Joseph the meaning behind the King of Egypt’s dreams, and the knowledge on how to prepare for the seven years of famine he predicted. Because of his wisdom, Pharaoh made Joseph second in command over the land which allowed Joseph to save his family and his people from extinction.
Each race or marathon Joseph ran resulted in favor from God. He endured thirteen years of undeserved hardship before God awarded him the ultimate prize. The Bible doesn’t tell us, but given our human nature, Joseph likely suffered many moments of depression, discouragement, frustration, fear, anger, resentment, and other mental distress. Since he didn’t have a Bible like we do today, Joseph probably relied on worship songs and prayer he grew up with to get him through difficult times. Despite it all, Joseph maintained his faith in God—trusting Him in the darkest of moments.
…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.~Philippians 4:7 NKJV
Needless to say, my challenges were no comparison to Joseph’s, but this revelation made me realize, regardless of the battle, God will always go before me and be my rear guard. Whatever the adversity, my Creator will use each and every situation to mold and perfect me. And in the end, my reward, whether on earth or in heaven, will far exceed anything I can imagine or hope for.
Are you willing to trust in the Creator to accomplish His will through whatever struggles you’re facing today?
Heavenly Father, I pray for Your Spirits mental and emotional strength to combat any negative thoughts. Let Your never-ending light destroy the invading darkness. When an unhealthy image assaults my mind, thank You, Father, that no weapon formed against me can prosper—that You won’t allow evil to conquer, or any plague to come near my home. Thank You, Father, for Your protection wherever I go, and that the enemy is crushed under Your feet.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: Mental Madness: Irene Wintermyer: All Rights Reserved