If God sent you to do something significant for Him, how would you expect to be treated? Like a dignitary in a motorcade? How would you expect to feel? Important and confident? Secure in knowing exactly where you were headed and what you were to do?

Our first steps along the pathway of serving God may feel like the end of our hopes and dreams. God’s beginnings for His servants often bear little resemblance to the endings He has in mind.

The story of Joseph (Gen. 37-47) is a great encouragement when God’s dealings with us seem impossible to understand. Psalm 105 tells us that God “sent a man before them—Joseph—who was sold as a slave. They hurt his feet with fetters, he was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him” (vv.17-19).

Being sent by God may begin with losing a job instead of landing one. It could involve the injustice of being penalized when you played fair and refused to compromise. It may hurt as much as Joseph’s leg irons in prison.

If God has given you a difficult beginning, ask Him for the strength to see it through. The God who sends will also sustain until you reach the end He has in mind.