– George MacDonald
God Is Sovereign
Joseph was mistreated, accused falsely, and thrown into prison for no reason. Time after time, Scripture says, “And the Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2, 21); but it sure didn’t look like it. There is no record that Joseph ever complained about his unfair treatment and his being falsely accused. He only obeyed God and excelled in whatever he was doing, even while in prison. Joseph trusted the sovereignty of God and told his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20).
He Is Faithful
God is forever faithful to His own children, even when we are not. He cannot break His promises like we often do. The word “temptation” is better rendered “tests.” And with this in mind, read what the Apostle Paul wrote: “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). He may allow you to enter times of testing, but He will always provide a way of escape–we simply must look for it.
Faith Is Growing
God never tries to break our spirit by overwhelming us with tests in life. Rather, it is as James wrote: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:2-3). God’s goal for us is to “let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). A faith that’s never been tested is a faith that cannot be trusted.
Patience Pays Off
When we have faith, we are more patient with things in life because we know that God is at work in us, as Paul writes, “It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Since God is working in us, we should be comforted to know that we’re not going through life on our own. He is there for us and never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).
Four principles of faith are that God is sovereign over absolutely everything that happens to us; God is faithful and will not abandon us, ever; God is growing our faith through various trials so that we will be perfect (or working toward perfection or maturity); and our patience pays off because we know that God is working in us and we’re not on our own.