There’s an interesting expression known as “in the doldrums”. It describes a state of depression. Its origins come from sailing, where a ship can’t move in the ocean because there isn’t enough wind. So the boat gets stuck, unable to make progress.
Have you ever felt like that, feeling low, stuck in a blue funk? You’re like that ship in the doldrums, stuck at sea, being unable to do anything in your own strength but dependent on some external force – the wind – to move you. Your spirit will only rise if God sends a spirit-like wind to lift you up.
Have you ever been stuck in a bad situation that you think will never change? Maybe you’re in a boring and stressful job, or lonely because you’re single, or suffering from a painful disease. You pray for salvation, but nothing happens. Days turn into weeks into months into years. Slowly, you lose hope. You don’t ever think that things will get better.
But let me encourage you. God is God of the change. He specializes in transformations, in breakthroughs, in reversals, in redemption, in turnarounds. If you put your faith in Him, He will change things for your good. Don’t lose hope.
The Bible is full of characters whose lives were dramatically changed by God, but they had to wait for that change.
Abraham longed for a son who would carry on his line. When he was 75, something exciting happened. God promised him a son. Yet he waited year after year for the impossible to happen – to bear a child in his old age. Abraham had to wait until he was 100 before God fulfilled his promise and gave a child to him. He had to wait for 25 years!
Joseph also had to learn to wait. As a teenager, he had a dream that his brothers would bow down to him and serve him. But all sorts of trouble and calamity dogged Joseph before he saw his dream come to pass. There were many points in his life where he surely must have been tempted to think that it was impossible for his dream to be fulfilled. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. He should have lost hope, but he didn’t – he kept trusting God. As a result of his faith, things turned out well for him. God granted him favour with his master, Potiphar, and Joseph ended up being in charge of Potiphar’s household. But in the eleven years of serving Potiphar, surely Joseph couldn’t see how his brothers would end up bowing to him? Then disaster struck again. Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, and when he refused her advances, she accused him of rape. Joseph was thrown into jail. He should have been devastated, bitter and angry with God for such an unfair situation. But Joseph kept a faith-filled attitude and he even prospered in prison, because God’s favour was on him. Still, prison must not have been easy. He stayed in prison for 11 years and during that time it must have been difficult for him to hold on to his dream – how could his brothers bow down to him when he was stuck in a dark dungeon? But Joseph kept his hope. One day, Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dream. Joseph gave the ruler the right interpretation and was immediately elevated to second-in-command in Egypt. Then there was a famine and Joseph’s brothers had to go to Egypt to beg for food. They bowed down before Joseph, pleading to him for mercy and Joseph saw his dream come to pass.
In the New Testament, we see the God of Change in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus dramatically changed the lives of the people he met. He healed the sick – the lame walked, the blind regained their sight, the deaf could hear and lepers were cleansed. He restored life to the dead – raising from death Lazarus and a little girl. He cast out demons. Hardened sinners became righteous as prostitutes and tax collectors repented from their sin once they met him. Yet the most dramatic change came at the end of his life, when after dying on the cross, he rose from the dead, proving that God could change the most desperate of situations.
So if you’re stuck in a bad situation that is taking a long time to change, don’t lose hope. God is God of the Change. Trust that he will deliver you in time if you will be patient and faithful, and you will praise Him when His salvation finally comes!