When Your Life Feels Like a Mess…


DontDespiseTheMess

Do you ever feel like your days are filled with one
messy relationship and situation after anoth
er?

During “messy” seasons, it’s easy for me to label my circumstances and myself as “a mess” and then wonder how God could ever use me, or my experiences, for good.

To protect my heart from discouragement, I often ask God to remind me of times when He has worked in ways I couldn’t have imagined, in my life and the lives of others. Recently He reminded me of Joseph’s story (Genesis 37-50). It reads like a series of very unfortunate events!

Imagine being beaten and thrown into a pit, sold as a slave and then relocated to a foreign country where you are falsely accused of a crime you didn’t commit and banished to die in prison. And to make matters worse, what if your siblings had initiated this evil against you?

That’s only the beginning of what happened to Joseph.

Looking behind the scenes of stories like his helps me see how God specializes in using messes to transform people into masterpieces of His grace. That’s exactly what He did here:

“[Joseph’s brothers] saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him … they stripped him of his robe … and they threw him into a pit” (Genesis 37:18, 23b–24, ESV).

Joseph was then taken to Egypt where he was sold as a slave to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. Could things get worse? They did when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him, and despite Joseph resisting her advances, she accused him of attempting to rape her:

” … she called to the men of her household and said to them, ‘See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.’”

“As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him … his anger was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison …” (Genesis 39:14-15, 19-20a).

In Potiphar’s house, Joseph learned servant leadership and integrity; in prison, Joseph learned forgiveness, wisdom and patience. He had been wronged multiple times, yet he experienced God’s guidance through the darkness that helped Joseph get out of prison:

“And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. … And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed” (Genesis 39:22-23, ESV).

In a messy pit, the house of Potiphar and a cold dark prison, God prepared Joseph for the amazing future and role he would play in rescuing God’s people and eventually bringing his family back together.

Through it all, Joseph stayed close to God and allowed his difficult circumstances to make him more dependent on the Lord. And in turn, God molded Joseph’s character into a great and godly leader — who was humble, loving, forgiving, patient and wise.

Friend, if you are feeling like you’re in a pit right now just like Joseph was, I want to encourage you: don’t despise the mess you’re in. As you surrender to Him and seek Him with all your heart, God will do behind-the-scenes work ~ as He prepares to unleash His limitless power in and through you!

Dear Lord, thank You for reminding me that You are always with me, just like You were with Joseph. When I face hard circumstances, I want to lean in and depend on You for wisdom, patience and grace. In all these things, I will remember that I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OBS Are you ready to live beyond the limits of your circumstances, fears, negative labels and regrets? If so, join our next Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study featuring the book, Limitless Life: You are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future.

It’s written by my personal friend and pastor, Derwin L.Gray. The study starts this week. Get more details and sign up here.

(Thank you for your interest in this bible study & giveaway, both are now over, but I would still love to hear from you!)

 

book cover.2Exchange the feeling of “being stuck” with a sense of clarity and purpose as you learn how to unleash the limitless power of God’s truth and grace in your life. I’m giving away 5 copies of Limitless Life!

Enter to WIN by sharing your thoughts about today’s post below. {If you’re reading this via email, click here to visit my blog and leave a comment to enter.}

 

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Lorraine segovia says:

    You caught me at the first sentence … Remind me of how He has worked in my life as I never imagined I would be where I m today but know that I’ve been leaning each of the past three years on the Rock that doesn’t move. Thanks for the opportunity to receive a copy do the book.

  2. These are great reminders and totally spot-on! Thank you for writing this encouraging and important post, it made a difference to my day :0)
    You have a beautiful heart!
    -Ava Sophie

  3. Rebecca says:

    God never fails us. He is always with us. He is doing His work in and through us. We must wait on Him and He will take care of us in every situation. Praise The Lord!

  4. I can remember a time, just in the last year that I was in a time such as that. And I thank God that I leaned on him, that I did not turn from him. So now I pray that God will mold me as he did Joseph and make me wise and use me as he sees fit. To God be the Glory! I have already had some awesome opportunities to share my story, lift others up and prayfully give them hope that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

  5. This is a great reminder not to focus on the hardships but the great blessings He’s already provided.
    He is a great and mighty God! Thank you for sharing this.

  6. For the last 3 years, I have gone through many trials and tribulations. It seems sometimes that I feel I am doomed for bad luck and want to just give up. But I am reminded of God’s grace and mercy while remembering my great uncle telling me the story of Joseph. Though I have lost my job, home, car, friends and learned who my true family is, I have learned to rely on God, be patient and have faith that there is a plan for me and God will take care of me.

    I pray you continue to bless me with your words and the book Limitless Life.

  7. I am walking with a friend through an extremely difficult time right now. Every part of her life(wayward child, sick parents, checked out husband, her health) seems determined to put her on trial and leaving her feeling abandoned and questioning her worth. She’s at the point where she feels she has nothing left to give. Hoping these will be encouraging and promised-filled words for her.

  8. Michelle Renee says:

    I am in that season of my life right now and this devotion spoke volumes to my heart! To God be the glory!

  9. Joseph was such a wonderful example to us on how God will take care of us and bless us even in the midst of trial and suffering. God is faithful! I love the verse in Isaiah 26:3 – “Thous wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” It’s so difficult to not let your heart and mind get overwhelmed with worry, stress, and regrets when you are going through a trial. I had a very dear Christian friend commit suicide recently. There was so much pain in the community and a people started placing blame on others. It was a very dark time in my life, but praise God, He is bringing healing and He is getting glory through the loss of my friend’s life, despite broken hearts and the cruel ones who spread painful and untrue rumors about me and others during this time. I definitely am no Joseph…. I have regrets and I have a long way to go in my walk with Jesus. But with the Holy Spirit’s help, I am learning to keep my mind on the One who gives us peace. Thank you for your blog and your books….they are helping to make a difference in my life and others and point us to Jesus.

  10. It is so easy to be overcome by the trials in our life. When the trials are many so often hope wanes. I am guilty of becoming so overwhelmed in the trials that I forget to hand it over to Jesus, and when that happens hopelessness sets in. In this walk with Christ I can now look back, and see with the help of Jesus, those areas in my life where I have grown because of the trials. Thank you Renee for reminding us where to look when those trials come.

  11. Christina says:

    Oh what a great reminder! Soothes the soul. Sometimes it can be hard to look beyond the situation. Keeping my eyes focused on Jesus, not the waves

  12. Maryann says:

    Thank you for your post. The past 7 years have been a season of challenges and disappointments for me. Thankfully unlike Joseph I have family and friends that bring joy into my life. Struggling to find the right direction to turn to and your resources always remind me that God has a plan and everything will fit together in the end.

  13. I feel like my life is a constant mess!! The house is a mess, laundry is never ending, finances are a mess, everything is so unorganized. Aaaagghhh! It just makes me crazy some days, but I try really hard to live “let go and let God!” But there are those days when the defeat can become overwhelming. Reading this devotion about Joseph’s trial, it really reminds me that things could be worse, but God is always there with his support and guidance. God is good, all the time!

  14. Elaine Segstro says:

    Life does get messy and disappointing. God has brought me through so many heartaches where He planned something MUCH better for me. While in the midst of it, I do get discouraged, but He never stops working behind the scenes. Praise the Lord!

  15. Christie Hamby says:

    My life lately has been one mess after another. Through my trials I have learned to look to Jesus instead of my circumstances. Thank you for this reminder that God has a plan and I just need to trust him more with my whole life.

  16. Juanita says:

    Wow, were you reading my journal. “What a mess I feel my life is in at this moment in time.” That was just what I had put in my journal Sunday, May 25th. I am on a Sabbatical for the summer to find where God is taking me this summer, in this new season of my life. So many things going on that I feel like I am in a mess. Family discord, financial, physical, and so much more.

    I know that God is in control and has a plan. He knew I would be here today and all that He has planned for me at this time. He will never leave me but walk with me through this mess called life.

    God has been using the book of Acts (our sermon series) and some other devotionals, and books I am reading to teach me the things I need to know regarding where I am at in my mess. Yesterday He revealed my part in the mess and some things I need to do to clean up the messes. This week I will be having some courageous conversations as I go to people I need to ask for forgiveness from. I am also so blessed with prayer partners who pray for me and keep me accountable.

    God knows every detail of my life. I am looking forward to what He will show me through this study and my personal time with Him this summer.

  17. WOW and I thought I was the only one going through trials. I think in the last 6 months God has been trying hard to get my attention and I have been listening but it seems that no matter what something else happens and I am alone again. Alone at least in this world by humans but not by Him…I have felt Him there through it all.

  18. Donna C says:

    Too often, as I’ve gotten older, I feel a “mess”… useless, slow, and overwhelmed. Thanks for the much needed reminder that our God is right there with me-and not finished with me yet!

  19. Sylvia Goupil says:

    Your message is God’s perfect timing in the pit I’m in right now. Yes, God will use this and every circumstance for my good. It’s just hard sometimes when the pain and sorrow is so great. God has been whispering to me that He has better things for me if I will just give him what I have.

  20. sounds like truth that I need to embrace right now.
    Thanks

  21. Beth Lee says:

    It is so overwhelming how the Lord works when we need him. The present circumstances I am facing with him is almost knocked me back.. employment, mariiage, personal doubt at times…. he knows the reason for the character building right now and I just cling to Jeremiah 29:11! Thank you Renee’, for allowing God to use in his timing and the opportunity for the book. May he continue to bless you and all you do!

  22. Thank you for this wonderful story and reminder. When I am in the middle of hard times too often I shut down and lose sight of the fact that God is there to always guide me. God bless you!

  23. Charity says:

    Definitely feeling like low right now…my husband is thinking he would like out of our marriage. We have two small children. would greatly appreciate your prayers! Thank you!

  24. Wow! Thank you for writing this Renee!! God has spoken to me yet again thru you. I know he has great plans for me and wants to use me for something. I have gotten involved with many things and outreaches at church, but just don’t know where I fit in. I can’t seem to figure out where I’m gifted. Then I listen to the enemy who tells me I’m worthless and will never be good at anything and then I get discouraged. It is so hard to be like Joseph and others in the Bible to be so patient and trust in God so completely. I know I need to do this study and I hope if I start it I can finish it. These studies move so fast and are hard to keep up with. I have started so many, and some I have gotten more than half way thru, but I get behind and then I give up. I pray that God will show me soon if this study is where He wants me now, and if it is, thst He will give me the strength and skills to keep up.

  25. Jonava Johnson says:

    Renee this scripture study is exactly what I needed. I have been reminded of my greatest challenges and how Jesus has bought me through. I am in awe when I see how far I have come and it makes it easier to hunker down in faith with Jesus and go wherever He is leading me. This is my favorite story because I am reminded how God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction Gen. 41:52. The very thing that hurt me to my core (back then it hurt but God has taken the pain away now!) is the very thing God uses to get through to the people I service on my job. Others are weary with trying and give up hope but I remember when my son and I were homeless, hungry and living in housing but God used that time to build character, integrity and humility into our lives. When I talk to men and women who are where we were I tell them Jesus did this. I.m glad we were there we couldn’t enjoy here without being there! What joy it is to spread hope even though I may have trials now I still get to share what was my greatest pain that is now my greatest joy! My son was 5 yrs old then and he is 27 yrs old now. He is like Joseph to me because of it. Thanks Renee! Hold on Beloved’s God isn’t through with us!

  26. Charity, praying for you, your marriage and family.

  27. Amazing! This really spoke to me this morning. God has blessed me & lead me through trials in the past. I need to continue to lean on Him & He will lead me through these tough times again! Thank you Renee for reminding me of this.

  28. Thanks for the great reminder. It has been hard since 02/2012. I have gone through many messies. And still do. Have come to rely more on God which has helped deal with several issues that are still ongoing. Thanks so much for the post. Mary

  29. God has helped me through several messes in my life and I trust that He will continue to do so. Thanks for the reminder and the chance to win this book.

  30. This devotional came right at the perfect time, a time where I’ve been entertaining negative self talk repeating to my self over and over “you are such a mess”. After reading the devotional the Lord reminded me of the many times He has taken my circumstances and changed them for the best, He reminded me that He is in control of my life, and ultimately His grace is more than sufficient for me and my circumstances.

  31. I would love to win a copy!

  32. I am in one of these messes right now and have been praying this morning about being anxious about nothing and bringing your requests before God, with thanksgiving. Thank you for this opportunity to win this book. Have a great and wonderful day. Blessings to you and your family.

  33. Thanks for the encouraging post. God is always amazing! This story of Joseph has always been one of my top stories in Bible. Of course, Jesus tops them all!

  34. Joseph is my favorite bible story for this very reason. Last year was a very difficult one with several types of losses and disappointments, ending with losing a property from my first husband that we had over $250,000 invested in over the years. After praying for 25 years to be able to sell it and have that money for retirement, giving to the Kingdom etc it was huge disappointment. But I had to surrender to the fact that God alone knows the whole picture and the why and to trust in Him

  35. Kristin Perez says:

    Wow how powerfully your devotion spoke to me this morning! I feel like my life is one series of trials after another & like Joeseph’s they just seem to go on & on with very little reprieve or even glimpses of their purpose. I struggle with codependency, resentment , co addiction & my multiple sclerosis. My husband is a recovering sex addict who despite recovering still focuses on his pain not the damage his addiction has done to our marriage. Lack of intimacy, my own damaged self esteem & circumstances has me feeling beaten down Thank you for the hope in your devotion & the opportunity to win your book. I believe it would help me greatly.

  36. Joycelyn says:

    Thanks Karen for today’s devotional would love to win a copy because I can’t afford one at this time. I usually would get the Kindle tablet version (which is cheaper), but I can’t afford that. Paying that I’m in that number.

  37. Joycelyn says:

    Oops! Thanks Renee.

  38. Patt jones says:

    I am reding this as I stand by my good friend who just lost her dtr via suicide. I can attest to the fact that God can does and will turn anything and everything (as we allow Him) to the good. The devil may have won this battle but he will not win the war of our souls. Thank you

  39. I am SO looking forward to this Bible study!!! I enjoyed today’s message, as Joseph is one of my favorite people!!! So glad to be on board with y’all 🙂

  40. Kristin Chapin says:

    This post spoke to me in the deepest parts of my heart and soul today. As I watch my father deteriorate right before my eyes due to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, I often feel helpless and hopeless. I don’t like witnessing his physical and mental decline, knowing there is nothing in my power I can do to stop it. It is in these moments of despair that I need to turn to God for strength and comfort. If my dad could speak, there is no doubt in my mind that he would tell me to be happy, cherish each day, live in the moment, and take care of my health versus being overcome with sadness and worry. God, please reach out and give my father and I a personal revelation of your unconditional love. I feel alone and sad. I need to start living again.

    • Christina says:

      Your story brought me to tears, thank you for sharing. You are brave to stick it out with your father. I’m Praying joy, peace, and blessings over you, as well as God’s unconditional love to be shown to you and your father in new ways. You are more than a conqueror through Christ! God is using you, and will continue to use you in amazing ways. Don’t lose hope–through it you are bringing others hope with your life – a living testimony. Fight the good fight – 2 Timothy 4:7.

  41. I was part of the pre-launch team for Limitless Life. I was privileged to read the entire book before it was released and found it to be great. I even had some of my favorite quotes from it posted in my bedroom for quite a while. I still have the pre-launch e-book on my computer and am looking forward to being able to participate in the study with other folks.

  42. Father I submit all my messes to you. Use them. I want to stop being ashamed of them. Amen

  43. I am in the class and have started reading the book, Limitless Life. The book is the kind of book I would like to share with others. I know the class is going to be great. By the way, the story of Joseph is one of my favorites since childhood. It is such an encouraging and inspiring story.

  44. I would love to read this. I often ask the Lord to remind me of his goodness when I seem to think about circumstances that are beyond my control. I am reminded that He is in control over all my life and family circumstances. I continue to trust Him and praise Him.
    Hallelujah to our Lord and Savior!!

  45. I don’t know who I’m supposed to be yet and I’m no spring chick…so I am looking forward to making time to read this book. It seems that my life is in a mess most of the time – these past 2 years have been extremely difficult. Health issues for myself and my husband and one of our grandsons – family erruptions – becoming guardians of a child as we reach our mid 60’s – self pity looms – exhausted daily – directionless – Yet I still have a hope in me.

  46. Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder, Renee. It’s amazing how God uses difficult circumstances to mold us for future roles, as you say “He prepares to unleash His limitless power in and through you!” Love this promise of sunshine! 🙂

  47. Janelle says:

    I appreciate the reminder to lean into Christ in our difficult times. It seems that I tend to retreat into myself when times get tough.

  48. Susan G says:

    Thanks for your encouraging words Renee. I am stopped cold many times because I am in a ‘mess’…such as when my husband and I are at odds…yep, it happens, even after almost 40 years. But I do not stay there long, because I do not listen to the lies of the enemy, but instead remember the words of our God and Savior. His promises and words of encouragement, love and hope keep us on track in our hearts and minds. Our women’s small group went through your book in our bible study and I go to it time and time again to remember His promises!
    Thanks for this giveaway!
    Blessings on you and your family!

  49. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by the things in my life, I try to remind myself of Joseph’s story.

  50. Charity says:

    I don’t want nfto sound prideful, comparing myself to someone like Joseph, but his struggling sounds similar to where I am at. Not the circumstances themselves, but the fact that God is faithful and may be trying to accomplish things through where I’m at.

  51. Barbara says:

    The last 4 years have been a struggle. We moved away from everything we have ever known, all our family and our church. I know that God has a plan and that’s the only thing hat gets me through day to day. The struggle seems so long and I’m ashamed to say that I get focused on me sometimes but I know God loves me- I will hold on to that!

  52. Cynthia says:

    Renee, Just what I needed to encourage my discouraged heart and mind. Miraculously, my soul still remains steadfast even in the weakness of my flesh. My life, in reality, is a mess that has been so since my daddy’s death in an accident 20 years ago. Famines in my (and my precious mama’s) health, finances, relationships, broken engagement, betrayals, and the list goes on as I try to remain strong as the primary caregiver to my mom. I don’t know if I feel closer to Joseph’s or Job’s story…no matter because the Lord has allowed little shafts of sunlight into our lives over the last 20 years. I keep being reminded of a pavilion and how God has placed my mom and I within that place where Satan’s full fury does not touch us. I feel like a mess withina mess, but knowing I serve and trust my Lord with my entire being. Praying that if I’m not weary in well doing I will one day reap. Would love this book…God bless, Cynthia

  53. Karen S says:

    It’s always reassuring to know that God is with me through everything even though I tend to forget it at times. I am ready to live beyond the limits of my circumstances, fears and regrets

  54. Maryu Fanek says:

    The story of Joseph came very timely today. I certainly had been experiencing a mess when I turned to your website. Immediately hope turned on the light, that God could and would work as I surrendered the mess to Him. Even reminding me that He had been working His love in me in a deeper measure in my heart. More the mess, more the grace, more the praise.! Thank you for your faithfulness.

  55. Thanks for the post. It is a great reminder where our focus needs to be -on God not on the situations and mess of our lives. God is working and we need to evaluate what He wants us to do during these times.

  56. oh how I need this…just a few short days from vacation and I topple down the stairs…a vacation our family so deperately needs. A time to rejuvenate, a time for us, a time away from the hustle and bustle. there are other things, things deep within. thoughts, financial issues, relationship strains, work…i need to understand where my place is, what does God have planned for me…a new corner to turn, a change, a big change?

  57. Linda N. says:

    Thank you for reminding me that God is always with me and in my messes working behind the scenes (with or without my cooperation). How patient He is with me! Trusting Him when life gets challenging and opening up my heart to let God work in me is difficult sometimes, but I’ve seen the love and faithfulness of God when I let Him in. Would love to win the book and join in the study. Thank you to P31 for making chapters 1 & 2 available.

  58. Christina says:

    I know everyone, and especially me, needed to hear this. Especially right now in the midst of my mess, my low thoughts of myself and doubt of how God could use me right now, especially to love others is NOTHING compared to what God CAN do, and especially has done! I need to remember the things God has done in my life and how He has used me, because He has! Feelings and situations change, but God never does, and to focus on the present placement keeps us from the plan God has for us. Thank you for speaking truth into our lives!

  59. Roberta Gabriel-OBS Small Group Leader says:

    Dear Renee,
    Thanks for the reminder that God takes our messes and turns them into masterpieces if we are yielded to His will and willing to ask him what He desires to do in these seemingly dismal and dark moments of our lives. Thanks so much for this post. You really rock!!!

  60. Miss Mary T says:

    Renee, I often think of Joseph and all he went through as God prepared him to fulfill his great purpose according to God’s Divine plan. Joseph’s life story always gives me Hope for myself and others! Thank you for always sharing God’s Word to affirm our faith and trust in God! I signed up for the Limitless Life OBS but have not purchased a book yet. I thank you for an opportunity to win a copy. God bless!

  61. This is a great reminder to ask God to bring order to the mess…God is the great organizer and the one who makes straight the crooked paths in our lives. Relying on him is the path to peace.

    • Mary I would like to connect with you on fb. I am Jeff Swartz.
      My facebook name is letsprayfor allthebeloved

  62. Jennifer Seace says:

    My life feels like an emotional roller coaster sometimes but one thing that always is even is God’s grace for me through everything. I just need to rely on him and look past all the negatives!

  63. Anna Cstorena says:

    Today’s message was powerful. This morning my husband and I drank a coffee together and we were conversing about the heavy rain. It had been pouring all night and this morning it rained non-stop. Anyway he noticed a leak above me. What seemed at the time a minor problem soon escalated into an insurance claim. All day I felt overwhelmed and my peace had been robbed. I kept meditating, as challenging as it was, that God will provide, He never abandons. My husband has little or no patience. I seem to tolerate difficulties with grace due to life experiences. Nevertheless like any human being my patience sometimes runs out. Your message helped and put my mind at ease. PRAISE God the roof didn’t cave in. My husband and I need to trust in God. It will all work out. It’s these storms in our lives that teaches what God intends for us to learn. We will get by and His grace will suffice. Thank you for sharing.

  64. As usual, your words always hit home right at the time when we need them the most. Please keep the blog going sharing your insight.

  65. Courtney says:

    I pray God will not waste any of my messes and use them for a great masterpiece. I’m ready to live the limitless life!

  66. Thanks for your timely blog. More than a conquerer is exactly what I wrote to friends today in describing flu-like symptoms, aches and pains, along with tan water flowing into my bathtub. Oh humor and grace! Thank you Lord for your strength and sweet promises to never leave me no matter what it feels or looks like.

  67. Sonja Bailey says:

    definitely a subject that affects many tho different trials the same feeling is deep in our souls… I know what I faced in the past three years but see the blessings God has given me after each as I turn to God and ask for help and thank him for all I have… some times longer than others some times more difficult to wait … but to look farther back in my past HE was always there even when I did not acknowledge HIM So thankful for ALL of my life Glory given to God

    I would love to do this study and meet others along the way

  68. I’m in a pit right now with a loved one. It’s their pit, their mess but when you love someone you share their burden and pain. Thank you for the reminder that God continues to work all things out even when it seems hopeless. I’ve been searching out verses about God’s power, His grace, His desire for good in our lives to share with my loved one. I’m seeing a profound heart change as he walks thru dark days, pacing in the pit. I would really like to share the book with my loved one. God knows and has a plan for all of us maybe tomorrow will be the day He pulls us out of the pit, does a heart work only He can do, makes the impossible a reality! Trusting Him for it!

  69. Laurel Wycoff says:

    And I thought my life was difficult as a single mom raising 4 children with a messy relationship between their father and his mother…. Thanks for the reminder that my life is in His control and I only have to call on His name for help.

  70. I am in the midst of one of those messy seasons, not entirely of my own making, but yes, I feel like a mess. However, I know that without these messes, I would never learn to rely on God and trust that He knows what is best for me and those around me.

  71. Brandy Jackson says:

    Your message today rang so true for me. In October of 2012 we lost my ex husband, the father of my two children, to PTSD. In the midst of that mess I continually asked God. Begged is more like it. For peace, and I forced myself to rejoice even when it didn’t seem so sincere. Eight months later we found out that my father had lung cancer. Talk about a mess! But God is so good, and I feel like He was and is still cultivating something very special in me. Good news is Dad is still with us and cancer so far is non active! Go God!

  72. Julia nall says:

    While reading this, I couldn’t help but smile. Let me explain, I can’t put all the trials that have come up in my life. I can break it down into a few words: child abuse, domestic abuse and cancer. Looking back on all this I may not understand but I do know that there is no way my Heavenly Father brought me through all this without having BIG plans for me! I keep my smile on my face knowing this. Seating on the edge of my seat waiting to see what He does next!

  73. Nina Voelker says:

    Wow! Good message! Sounds like a great book. Would be honored to win book and join the Bible study.

  74. Crystal says:

    This has been me since last August. I remained in constant prayer and read the book of Job. Not once did I consider reading Joseph’s story in the book of Genesis. This post came right on time as I know God is still working in the midst of my mess and preparing me for something greater and I will remain faithful to him. I will be reading and praying over these chapters this week Genesis 37-50. Thank You!

  75. I’ve always LOVED the story of Joseph. I always felt that he could have been so bitter and angry towards his brothers and towards Potipher and his wife. Thank you for the reminder that though he had been wronged without any reason behind it…he still persevered because of God’s grade. I needed to hear this this morning. I have had several things happen in the last few years and I always feel so ashamed because I allow it to bring me bitterness. I have tried to figure out why these things have happened and have even went to the people to no avail. Thank you for your encouragement.

  76. It is always encouraging to see how God works all things together for our good and often also for the good of others. I have to learn to keep that in mind when I am troubled and in the midst of problems. Look up to Him who is able to keep me from falling.

  77. Heather says:

    This was exactly what I needed today…My family is in a situation right now that I feel is complete chaos but it is nothing new. In the past few years it has been one thing after another after another after another…it has started to wear me down and make me feel like it is my fault for this “mess” but at the same time I know that I do not have the power to control the situation we are in. I know there is lesson to be learned from this and I am trying to stay positive through it all but struggling this time around. I will plan to reread the story of Joseph this time I will be looking at Joseph as an example of how I can handle my current situation.

  78. It seems like when one mess is clearing up, another one starts. Joseph is a great example of a similar process and ultimately we see God’s hand in it all. Thanks for reinforcing that message today.

  79. Jeanine says:

    At times, my life seems to be one trial or mishap after another lately, so this is an awesome reminder to praise Him not only in times of joy but also in times of trial. To remember that He is with me every step of the way!

  80. Gloria Hardee says:

    This was what I needed to hear today. I know God works out all things for our good. This valley that I’m in right now sometimes feels like I’m drowning but I turn to God’s word and He reveals to me that He does have a plan. I know when this journey comes to an end I will be where God wants me to be.

  81. Thank you for the powerful words of encouragement . So fitting in so many ways.

  82. I needed to be reminded of Joseph and what God did in his life. My family has just moved for his company but in the midst of the move, we have felt the bait and switch. It is very painful to watch as hubby seeks to find his place in a growing company that changes with every turn, being stripped of opportunities, with no integrity, honesty or direction in communications of what used to be a company foundation built on Christ, now is ebbing towards Profit before God. I am also seeking to gain back what was lost in my journey of raising an autistic son (now 14). So much of myself has gone into advocating for his needs, but now I need to earn an income within the confines his school schedule…he is too old for a sitter, yet too immature to stay at home on his own due to anxiety and panic attacks. God has provided so much and I am Grateful! Now is the time to gain my Confidence back – looking forward to the study! Thank you much.

  83. Gennie Griffin says:

    I really needed to read this today. Right now I am in a transition in my life and feel like there is just pure chaos. Thank you for posting and the reminder that God uses us as we are.

  84. Galinda Barefoot says:

    This is a great reminder to trust in the Lord. I am looking forward to this Bible study!!! Thanks for the chance to win.

  85. What a great God we have! His call is for us to follow and be obedient to him. But when our lives are a mess and we no longer have the will or desire he picks us up and carries us. He will never forsake us rather he walks through the mess and storm. How great is our God?!

  86. Whew! This is right where I’m at. Thanks for the encouragement and reminder of a light at the end of the tunnel. The Lord has certainly been molding & preparing me for a new journey. Every now and then, panic will start to set in, but thankfully the Holy Spirit lives in me and redirects me to Jesus.

  87. Through the pain, through the disappointment, be quiet. Don’t dig up your seed with words that don’t align with your faith. Choose praise. Remember our words are a creative force. In the moment of pain and disappointment don’t allow your words to take you where you really don’t want to go. Be still in a place of praise and allow God to move.

    “Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12 Amplified)

    Trust. Focus. Believe. God is working. He has not forgotten you.

    “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 Amplified)

    Lessons Learned in the Key of My Life!

    Be Encouraged!

  88. Kriaten says:

    After a day like today, I needed this encouraging voice of wisdom. God is here. Thank you, Renee

  89. Ilisoni says:

    Praise the Lord for his ever ending mercy for his children he knows what im going thru and i believe that he is continue to do the work of perfection in my life all i have to do is to let go and let GOD do it for me.Thank You Mary.

  90. Ilisoni says:

    oops Thanks Renee.

  91. Novella Pope says:

    I am not the labels of my past, present or future
    I am a child of God!
    I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me & that means to me He remove labels, shame, fear all the things that are not of Him.
    Thank you for this post
    Blessings unto you all

  92. Thanks for reminding us that God is with us and can be working in us while we are in the pit, when we are willing to turn things over to Him.

  93. It feels so difficult to try and see beyond the mess or oppression you are in… Although I realize I am not in spiritual oppression! I thank God for being there when I am ready. Lord speak to me today, in a very personal way…..

  94. Melinda Cooper says:

    I’m not sure when my life doesn’t feel like a mess. Good to know that just because my circumstances are messy that it doesn’t mean that I’m a mess!

  95. God’s timing for me to read your devotional is perfect. I believe with all my heart that God’s watching over me. So, why do I allow negative thoughts to snowball into a doubtful mindset?
    A sound mind is my goal. I pray for my past to remain in the past. Instead, I allow it’s criticism to seap threw the cracks my childhood’s emotional and mental abuse from my Mom. I am now 39 years old. I want to pray with a stronger conviction to ask Jesus to rid me of my anger. I am a stronger person thanks to all adversities I experienced according to God ‘s plan. I love God because He is our Father who sent His only son to die for every sin committed.
    My favorite verse in the Bible is
    Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    Love, Joy

  96. One more thing! Regarding previous note from
    Tina
    May 26, 2014
    Tina,
    Your reply is exactly what I am going through! I’ll pray for you and you pray for me? : )
    Love,
    Joy ( learning to let go # 2)

  97. Mary Ann says:

    Blessed in my mess…………thank goodness because my life has been a series of messes. Normally I make that mess when I move away from God. Thank goodness God is so faithful and loves me regardless of my messes. I need encouragement to walk with God every second of the day.

  98. Very encouraging! Thanks heaps. The messiness of life!

  99. Thank you Rene for this Blessed message. I am there right now. But for the grace of GOD. Amen.

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