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What if? (5 Questions for Troubling Times)

Hands down, one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is the saga of Joseph, found at the end of Genesis.


Favored son.






Favored again.


And near the end of the story, Joseph reassures his brothers (who had betrayed him and sold him into slavery) that all is well. Joe’s perspective was clear: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).


Joseph eventually looked beyond everything hellish in his life to believe that God had a purpose all along.




How about you? Maybe you feel forsaken and forgotten. Perhaps you feel imprisoned by the unfair acts of others. You might be in the middle of the worst days of your life so far, and you feel alone, confused, and angry.



May I ask you to reflect on five questions with me?


1. What if the hardest thing you’ve ever gone through could produce the best thing you’ve ever known?


2. What if you were stuck in a routine and a rut, but now something new has come to you in an unexpected and unforeseen way?


3. What if you were holding on to something unholy (or at least unhelpful), and now that thing is revealed for what it truly is in your life—an unnecessary distraction?


4. What if everything you thought you needed to survive has been exposed for what it is—weak and temporary (at best)? And what if what you truly need most has become more apparent to you than ever before?


5. What if your faith has been marginal and your commitment to God and His kingdom too weak? But what if the circumstance you’re going through now is helping you grow deeper as the trials are shaping your life into the character of Jesus?



We, humans, seek comfort. We almost always take the path of least resistance. We avoid hardship because we think it’s a curse.


Yet God, in His wisdom, is always far more concerned with our character than He is our comfort. (Read that line again, please.)


God has a purpose for you.


He has a plan for your life.


And destiny is rarely (never) found on the trouble-free path.



God is shaping you and wants to release a new level of creativity and holiness in you as He challenges you to think outside the comfortable box you’ve lived in for so long.


Someone once said, “God writes best on crooked lines.” Meaning, God is not intimated by the curves and challenges we face. He simply uses them to mold us into the image of His Son.


So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to stop complaining and start celebrating. Because God is up to something good in you and me.


We celebrate in seasons of suffering because we know

that when we suffer we develop endurance,

which shapes our characters.

When our characters are refined,

we learn what it means to hope and anticipate God’s goodness.

Romans 5:3-4 (VOICE)


Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Bishop Noah Muzeya

    Thank you Dad, my mentor. We miss you our Botswana Purpose Driven Church / PEACE Plan international trainer. May God continue using you to continue impacting the world. I am unstoppable from the training I got from, you. Thank you to you, Mum Laura and Eastpoint church.

  2. Bishop Noah Muzeya

    May God continue using you my Dad /mentor. I am encouraged

    1. KurtBubna

      Thank you, Noah! Love and miss you and my friends/family in Botswana so much! You are loved…

  3. Bishop Noah Muzeya

    This is powerful and it has eoncuraged my wife and I serving the Lord in ioreign land – Botswana. and especially in this season of COVID-19 with everything closed .

  4. Rebecca Androes

    Thank you for this gentle reminder. This reminds me of a sermon Joe gave. When you find yourself walking through the fire don’t stop…keep going or you will get burned. God is with you in the fire, shaping you so that when you get to the other side you will be remade by Him. Metal takes extreme heat applied to it in order for it to be made into something new. I think God is doing a lot of reshaping right now.

    1. KurtBubna

      Such a good word picture…keep walking and don’t stop! Thank you, Rebecca!

  5. Mary Sayler

    If pottery-quality clay could feel and express its experience, it might say “Ouch! This shaping me up hurts!” Thank you, Kurt, for responding to this time of reshaping with gentle, encouraging, biblical words. May God shape us into the vessels we’re meant to be and fill us with Holy Spirit power in Jesus’ Name.

    P.S. I reposted your good word on Twitter. 🙂

    1. KurtBubna

      LOVE the image of pottery being shaped. Love and appreciate you, Mary!

  6. Debra McCarroll

    A great Reminder God is more concerned with our character than He is our comfort! I needed this reminder today!

    Thank you Pastor Kurt

    1. KurtBubna

      You are most welcome, Debra. Love and miss you! Be well. Be safe. Be loved today!

  7. Don Jarrell

    A good read Kurt.

    1. KurtBubna

      Thanks, Don. How are you holding up?

  8. Mark

    Keep writing Kurt! Mark

    1. KurtBubna

      Thank you, Mark. Kindness and encouragement to me are priceless these days…

  9. Selena Hing

    Thank you for taking the time to write this.
    I needed to read this for where I am today.
    This is awesome and encouraging.
    Praying you and Laura are well in spite of this storm we are in.

    1. KurtBubna

      Hi Selena, It’s so good to hear from you! Miss your amazing voice and heart! Praying for you right now too. You are loved.

  10. Al Privette

    I came across this on FaceBook, and found it most helpful ……. I don’t even know who you are, but I am going through some incredibly difficult times, and finding life too hard …….. considering other ways of “dealing” with the situation. No hope …….

    1. KurtBubna

      Hi Al, I’m so sorry you’re in such a deep struggle. Praying for you right now. Please feel free to email me privately at [email protected] if there’s anything more I can do.

  11. Ernie Stuart

    It is so great to commit each to our Lord and Saviour.
    I just need to trust the one who knows what is for our good.
    Never forget to thank The God who has become our Father in Heaven!
    God bless you.

    1. KurtBubna

      Thank you, Ernie. Blessings to you!

  12. Ellencoffin

    Great word for these days!

    1. KurtBubna

      I appreciate your kind words, Ellen. Praying for you guys!

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