HIGHER THINKING BLOG
Turning Disappointment into Opportunity
Things have ‘hatched’ badly here this spring. There are seasons when things go wrong; and they just have to be lived through; like the old inscription, ‘Good times and bad times; all times get over.’ —Beatrix Potter
Pharaoh said to Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it; and I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream and interpret it. Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favorable] answer of peace. – Genesis 41:15–16 AMP
The Joseph found in the Book of Genesis experienced incredible difficulty in his life. Taunted, sold into slavery, twice put in jail, and asked by the most powerful man in the world to interpret a dream that would eventually save a nation.
Joseph experienced tremendous loss. He lost his family, his dignity, and was accused of lying. He was abandoned. Experienced broken promises from jail mates. Yet, Joseph persevered and turned each situation, each disappointment, betrayal, and loss into an opportunity to serve others and to serve God. The disappointments and betrayals put him into positions of tremendous opportunity.
At some point in our lives we face hardship, losses and pain. Often we look at our circumstances and don’t see them from God’s perspective. Joseph was able to sustain himself through these hard moments because he chose to fall back on what he knew about God quickly and easily. His faith gave him the confidence to react with an attitude of turning disappointments into opportunity.
How can we react the same way as Joseph? Lean on His promises:
- Trust that God is working out all things for your good (Romans 8:28).
- Believe that God is in control of everything. He is sovereign (Psalm 47:7–8).
- Know that He loves you and has a plan for your life (Proverbs 3:4-6).
- Listen to His voice (Psalm 103:19).
- Submit to God’s will (James 4:7).
- Live with an eternal focus (Colossians 3:1).
When we obey God and leave the consequences to Him, He will help us turn every disappointment into an opportunity. We may not see the results immediately, but He is faithful and is bringing the scattered pieces together for your eternal good.
Joseph knew the bitter taste of betrayal, disappointment, and loss. However, each trial he met with prepared him for God’s ultimate purpose in his life. His disappointments led directly to Joseph’s moment of opportunity.
Ask God for His comfort and grace as He leads you through this season of life. Let Him know that you are resting in His arms. Tell Him your fears and let His peace overcome them as you wait and stand firm for His perfect plan.
- Study Genesis 41:37–44. How did Joseph’s other disappointments prepare him for this one? Do you think he envisioned this outcome while in prison for a crime (Genesis 39:8–20) he didn’t commit? What sustained him? Can the same thing sustain you?
- Understand that God wants to turn your pain and loss into an opportunity. Ultimately he wants you to conform to the image of His Son Jesus and this is His way to help you grow, develop and strengthen your character and walk with Him. Don’t overlook the opportunity behind the disappointment.
- Discover God’s limitless grace and patience. Joseph waited years for his crisis to turn; God may or may not be asking you to patiently wait as well. All things work together in His time. We have the opportunity to discover more of Him or be frustrated, angry, and bitter. Discover His time.
Today’s post is by Wayne Hastings the president of The Wayne Hastings Company. Wayne works directly with publishing and retail clients in the areas of leadership, product development, marketing and retailing effectiveness. His post is an excerpt from his latest book, The Way Back From Loss: Reassembling the Pieces of a Broken Life (Worthy 2014)
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