May 11, 2023

Diligence in Hard Times

In this episode, Pastor Whit sits down with our Founding Pastor, Willie George, to talk more about the significance of diligence, desperation, and leaning in when things get complicated. They share personal experiences of being diligent in hard times and some powerful insights from the story of Joseph.

Check it Out:

Diligence can be defined as “steady, earnest, and energetic effortdevoted and painstaking work and application to accomplish an undertaking.”

A key element necessary to maintaining diligence in all circumstances is learning the power of responsibility, flexibility, and desperation.

Diligence Through Responsibility

The Bible has a lot to say about diligence. Diligence cannot be separated from your physical work. When diligence is spoken of in the book of Proverbs it’s always linked to the symbol of the hand.

In Genesis 39, Hebrew emphasizes the word hand. In fact, “hand” is mentioned six times in this chapter.

The law of the hand is about asserting agency over your situation. Putting your hand to something means taking control and responsibility.

Diligence is about looking for ways to press in rather than a way out. When Joseph was in prison, he couldn’t leave physically, but he could have left mentally. But he didn’t; he stayed engaged. And that made all the difference.

Diligent Flexibility

No matter what it is you do, you’ll gain perspective that will help you later on.

We spend so much of our time trying to either correct reality to match up to our expectations or lament that reality is not our expectation instead of facing the situation we’re in.

There is space for grief and frustration. But staying there won’t help you. You must learn to let go of rigid expectations and instead learn to adapt and make the most of where you’re at.

God Leads in Steps

We’re living in a time when people often feel they should only do things that connect with their dreams, heart, or purpose. But Joseph never dreamed of running an Egyptian household or prison.

The journey toward a dream often doesn’t look the way you expect. But without taking the journey, you won’t be prepared for your destination.

“People refuse to see the value of steps, not realizing that God leads only in steps.”

It’s like looking at a big house with ten steps to the porch and saying, “I’m not settling for anything less than that porch.” But the steps are how you get there: one step (usually uphill) at a time.

Take advantage of what God puts in your hand. Opportunities that align with your heart often don’t come until much later. Don’t forget the dreams God gave Joseph were not fulfilled until the end of the story.

The Power of Desperation

We often think of desperation as a bad thing, but it actually produces a lot of things that would not otherwise be produced.

In desperate times,

  1. You’re willing to do things you otherwise wouldn’t have done.
  2. You’re willing to stop doing things you otherwise wouldn’t have (making hard financial decisions, letting go of relationships).
  3. It drives you into your relationship with the Lord. In desperate times, you’re forced to rely on Him in deeper ways.

When you find yourself in a place of desperation, look for the opportunity in that season. Don’t spend all your time wondering, “how I can get back?” But instead, focus on, “How do I move forward?”

There is opportunity in every season of life.

If you’re in a hard season, maybe what you’re going through right now is the very thing that will prepare you for what’s to come.

The things that will put you on the top and keep you there are the things you learn during tough times. The qualities that Pharaoh saw in Joseph were the very things developed during the hardest trials he would ever have to face.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you (1 Peter 5:6).

Check out another podcast episode:

Lost Dreams: How to recognize, embrace, and grieve them well.


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