God is Sovereign: Despite the Challenge of Raising Support


“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3, ESV).

The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis has always fascinated me. It’s a story of unfortunate events which God uses for His glory. The jealously that Joseph’s brothers harbor toward him after he is favored by his father and has two dreams that depict him ruling over his family ignites the events that domino out of control. However, his brother’s plot to kill him, then selling him into slavery, and a wrongful accusation of rape can only be understood in the light of God’s sovereignty. Fortunately for us, we have the entire story and can see God’s redemptive plan at work throughout Joseph’s life. Poor Joseph didn’t know how his story would end.

God had big plans for how He was going to use Joseph for His glory. The only hint He gave to him was those two dreams. If Joseph had tried to establish his leadership over his family at that very moment, it wouldn’t have worked and would’ve been disastrous. The timing wasn’t right for God’s plan to come into fruition. In the playing out of God’s perfect timing, Joseph went through unthinkable trials with blessings along the way.

I’m not sure the thought of those dreams would’ve even flitted into Joseph’s mind as his brothers threw him into the cistern. Hurt, betrayal, fear, survival—those would’ve been my first thoughts. When the Midianite merchants pulled away with Joseph in tow as their new slave, the life he had grown up knowing, slowly faded from his view. I can’t imagine the sinking feeling of loneliness that must’ve been in the pit of his stomach.

In Egypt, after Potiphar bought him, the LORD was with Joseph and he prospered as he was entrusted with more duties. That is, until Potiphar’s wife accused him of raping her. He was innocent. He didn’t lay a hand on her. He did what he should have done and ran away. In one moment and in one wrongful accusation, he was thrown into prison.

What was God doing? God was growing Joseph up in Him. He was establishing Joseph’s character and credibility. He was aligning all the other events and bringing them into motion for Joseph to decipher Pharaoh’s dream and to be brought out of prison second in command in of all of Egypt. In this position, when the famine spread over the whole country, his brothers came, brought their father, and bowed down to him.

The fulfilling of the dreams was not the purpose of the story. God granted them to Joseph as a taste of what was to come, and when they were fulfilled, it proved God’s sovereign goodness. All of this happened to Joseph because God chose him to bring the Israelites to Egypt, a move that would save His people and eventually display His glory as He delivers them from the hands of Pharaoh in a dramatic fashion.

You are being used for God’s glory. Every twist, turn, and bend in your life plays a part of the greater Story. You may not know what is happening and may never even be given those answers, but your life is carefully plotted against God’s eternal plan. In the midst of a firestorm or a fresh rain, our eternal God meets us intimately in that moment.

Your support-raising journey needs to be viewed in light of His sovereign plan. No matter how quickly or how slowly you make it into your place of ministry. God is the One guiding your steps. He is developing your character, opening the eyes of others to His work, and positioning all other events around you to be placed where God is taking you to be in the exact moment needed in order to have the biggest impact.

Just like Joseph, so much more is happening beyond your sight in which you are a part. Rejoice that God has chosen you for your task. God pounds down the clay to mold it into something beautiful for Him.

  1. Stay focused on the now and trust the future in God’s hands.
  2. Rejoice in how God is currently using you and for how He will be using all events to shape the future.

God is Love: As we discover Him on the Support-Raising Journey

Psalm 139:14-16 – “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (NIV).

Practically newlyweds, my husband and I stumbled out onto our first support-raising adventure. I say stumbled because, although we—we meaning my husband—read a few books on the topic, we still didn’t have much of an idea as to what we were doing. Frankly, it showed as it nearly ate us alive. My attitude toward it was basically, “Since Jason was the one whom God called into youth ministry, then it was his responsibility to take care of the financial end of things. My job as a good wife was to tag along and give him high-fives when we got paid.” My hands didn’t see much action.

Regardless of how much or how little support we received, what I was missing was the beauty of these verses and how they impacted raising support. I had long committed Psalm 139:14-16 to memory and even treasured its meaning. However, I had these verses so compartmentalized to being something I pondered when I struggled with low self-esteem that the magnitude of this truth didn’t seep into my life as we labored along the support-raising journey.

Here’s what I missed:  My loving God took delight in crafting me with all my gifts and abilities to be used by Him—even me, a tag-along spouse—then ordained each of my days so that I would grow to reflect His glory. I now understand that, in the days long before I was born, He ordained even my support-raising journey to be used to display His majesty. In a sense this journey is the perfect time, I would dare even say the perfect gift, to make the needed space to understand how intricately my Creator crafted me in order that I might shout of His greatness.

This Christ-centered perspective roots me in the now and keeps me grounded in how God is shaping me to be used wherever I am. It gives me the space I need in all the chaos and excitement of future opportunities to worship God and lead others out of that worship in the present. It even helps me to realize that there is a greater purpose to this journey than just raising money, a resource He readily gives in His timing. It’s when God’s ultimate purpose for my life of transforming me to be like His Son shines far above my drive for my wants and worldly goals.

When my husband and I first started down the path of fundraising, we skipped out of the gate like frolicking deer and ended up like road kill. Our first experience was so bad it almost wrecked me from doing ministry all together. I was so focused on the money, the task, the excuses that I missed a loving God who cradled me along a difficult path that served for transformational purposes. I don’t want you to make that same mistake. Discover a loving God now in these moments. Rest in Him. Trust in the God who already knows the path before you because He is the One who laid it out. He will use you. Just don’t miss those opportunities to delight in your Daddy along the way.

  1. Worship God for how he has created you for your ministry.
  2. Reflect on how you have seen God’s love during the support-raising journey.
  3. Tell others about how God created you and what He is doing now in your life.