Read Genesis 42:22-24
This morning we continue our series, “Grace that is Simply Amazing” by continuing with our mini-series entitled, “Grace Based Success (Prosperity)”, by continuing in the story of Joseph. Yesterday we left off with the brothers realizing that they were reaping what they had sown. Continuing in that same vein, Reuben said, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t hurt the boy’? But no, you wouldn’t listen. And now we’re paying for his murder.” It was no question in the brother’s minds that they were reaping a negative harvest on the negative seed that had sown 20 years earlier. Little did they know that Joseph was standing right before them, listening to the entire conversation. They spoke freely in front of Joseph because they thought he was an Egyptian who could not understand Hebrew.
Joseph remained in character, he spoke to his brothers through an interpreter, and he attempted to keep his cool. However, the situation finally got the most of him. Joseph was standing in front of the men who had sold him into slavery and left him to die. He could hear them talking about him like he was already dead. But this time he was no longer the kid brother with no power against them. The tables were turned. Joseph had all the power. He had trained killers at his disposal. One word and all 10 brothers would be assassinated. But even with all the power, all Joseph could think about was the pain. He thought about the horrible experience he went through in the pit. He thought about the pain he felt when he was ripped away from his family and sold as a slave. He thought about the years he spent in prison for a crime he did not commit. 20 years of emotion flooded through his body. It was too much to bare. Joseph left the room, he found a place where he could be all alone, and he broke down and cried. The hurt and the pain were real to him again.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Vision will keep you going when the pain tells you to stop. While Joseph was in the other room, re-living the pain of his past, thinking about all the wrong that had been done to him, he remembered God’s dream. God’s dream was the vision he had kept before him all those years. The vision drove him past the pain of the pit. The vision drove him past the pain he experienced in Potiphar’s house. The vision drove him past the pain of the prison. And the vision would drive him again. Joseph had unfinished business. So he wiped his face, got back into character, returned to the room where his brothers were, and he continued on with his mission. Joseph, in character, had Simeon arrested while the rest of the brothers watched. The same way God’s dream/vision drove Joseph, it can drive you, and it can drive you right past your pain.
2. Vision will drive you to forgive. When you are laser-focused on God’s dream for your life and you allow His dream to be the vision you pursue, you will find that you don’t have time for unforgiveness. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, resentment, dissatisfaction and animosity; all of which are, quite frankly, too costly to the person who is pursuing their purpose. Joseph would have never fulfilled his purpose if he had spent his time nursing and rehearing what his brothers and Mrs. Potiphar did to him. Joseph did not have time for that. Joseph was too focused on the dream to be focused on dream-killers. Learn from Joseph. Be quick to forgive, let the pain of the past go, and pursue your purpose with bulldog-tenacity.
3. Vision will keep you going. One of the most common characteristics of champions is their ability to keep going. They just simply never give up. Joseph could have given up in the pit, in Potiphar’s house, in prison, or during this time when his heart was flooded with pain, but Joseph refused to quit. He simply kept going and God expects you to do the same!
4. Life is a gift when you stay the course. James said, “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail” (James 5:11,12 MSG). Job stayed the course and God worked it out for him in the end. Joshua stayed the course and God worked it out for him in the end. And if you stay the course, you will have the same testimony. Keep the vision before you and allow God’s vision for your life to drive you past your season of pain!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your grace and my requirement to live by faith. Your blessings come to me freely, completely by Your grace. But for me to access Your blessings, you expect me to use my faith. I declare that I will. I live by faith. I exercise faith to believe that Your best shall come to pass in my life in the fullness of Your timing. You made plans for me before the world began and those plans become my life’s vision. I keep the vision before me and Your vision for my life gives my pain a purpose. The vision helps me see the purpose in the pain and it also helps me get past it. I don’t wallow in the pain. I don’t wallow in the past. I don’t harbor bitterness or unforgiveness. I don’t have time for resentment. I am too focused on Your vision for my life to be focused on the wrong done to me. I walk in love. I maintain my peace. I keep the vision before me and I stay the course. Life is a gift for me because I am more focused on my purpose than the pain I must endure to fulfill it. Come what may, I will never give up, because I keep my eyes on Your purpose for my life and focus helps drive me right past the pain. I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.