Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins”. I have laid the foundation for faith. Now I am doing the same for patience. I like to teach by both precept and example. I will use Joseph as a good example of our need for patience.
(James 1:2-4 TPT)
2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!
3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.
4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
We will seek to learn from the phases of the life of Joseph. Each phase (paternal, pit, Potiphar, prison, and palace/Prime Minister) has significance to this series and to our lives. Today we are still in the pit phase and I will introduce you to the Potiphar phase.
(Gen 37:25-28 ERV)
25 While Joseph was in the well, the brothers sat down to eat. They looked up and saw a group of traders traveling from Gilead to Egypt. Their camels were carrying many different spices and riches.
26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit will we get if we kill our brother and hide his death?
27 We will profit more if we sell him to these traders. Then we will not be guilty of killing our own brother.” The other brothers agreed.
28 When the Midianite traders came by, the brothers took Joseph out of the well and sold him to the traders for 20 pieces of silver. The traders took him to Egypt.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. You have not disqualified yourself.
(Romans 11:29 KJV)
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
(Romans 11:29 NIV)
For God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
a) As soon as something bad happens to you, satan will tell you that it’s your fault. While Joseph was not completely innocent — he was young, brash, arrogant, and foolish — but that does not justify being kidnapped by your own brothers and then sold into slavery. What happened to Joseph was terrible and whenever something terrible happens, satan will do all he can to mess with your mind.
b) As soon as you feel like you have done something wrong, satan will tell you that you have disqualified yourself from whatever God said. I am sure that while Joseph was in the pit and later, while he was being hauled off as a slave, satan was telling him that the dream would now NOT come to pass. This is what he does. He will tell you that you have disqualified yourself from God’s best.
c) How can you disqualify yourself from something you never qualified for in the first place? God called you by grace, not because of merit. God knew everything you would ever do, good and bad, and He called you anyway. He called you into your purpose while being fully aware of your faults, flaws and failures (past and future). This is why the text says that God’s giftings and His calling are irrevocable!
d) Part of developing patience and believing God for the long haul is getting to the point where you know that NOTHING you do will cause God to change His mind about you. Without this understanding, you will give up on your faith before the manifestation of the promise, because inevitably you will do something wrong. Invariably you will mess up. When you do, satan will tell you that you no longer qualify. But at the same time, the Holy Spirit will remind you that Jesus qualified for you! Understanding this is part of developing Godly patience and part of your maturity in Christ.
*** If you want to believe God for the long haul, you must believe that you cannot disqualify yourself from your assignment. If you mess up, you must repent, receive forgiveness from God, forgive yourself, and keep going!
2. It’s all going to work together for your good.
(Romans 8:28 KJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
a) Another key aspect of developing Godly patience is knowing that when things happen that you did not expect to happen, that someway/somehow, God will cause it to work together fo your good. It may not have been a good thing. But God can still make it turn out for your good.
b) Joseph would later learn things at Potiphar’s house that he would have never learned at home. The same can be said for the prison phase of his life. To be clear, these were not good things. Being sold as a slave is not good. Being locked up in prison is not good. But we serve a God who can take things that are clearly NOT good and make them work together for our good. This is a critical understanding to have when you are waiting on God. If you truly believe this, it will help you to be patient while you are waiting on God to do what He said He would do in your life. You may not like what happened to you, but in the end, you believe God’s plan is still in operation, His promise is still valid, and your expectation is still high!
c) This is a good spot to mention COVID-19. This global pandemic is NOT good. Families are separated, businesses are shut down, schools are closed, even churches are closed, and people are dying. This is real stuff. But even while the world is dealing with this virus, our faith is being tested, our God is still God, His promises are still valid, and He can still take all of this mess and turn it around for our good. If you believe this (and I certainly do), you will maintain your patience and you will never give up on God’s promises!
3. Learning to deal with rejection is part of maturing as a believer.
a) When strangers attack you it is painful. But when the people closest to you do it, it is even more painful. Joseph was betrayed and attacked by his own brothers. The people closest to you can cause you the greatest level of pain!
b) If you are called to do something great, especially something new, you will be misunderstood. Joseph was called to do something no one else in his family was called to do. It’s easy to see why the favor on his life was misunderstood by his brothers. While I was in the Army, I was called by God to open doors for US Army Signal Corps Warrant Officers that had never been opened before. Because I was doing something new, and because the favor of God was on my life to do it, like Joseph, I was misunderstood. People criticize and attack what they do not understand. My point here is that if you are going to do what God called you to do, especially if you have blaze trails, you must be willing to deal with criticism, backbiting, strong opposition, and even rejection. Unfortunately, this is all part of your maturity process as a man/woman of God.
c) Our text says that we can get to the point where we are completely mature, with “nothing missing and nothing lacking,” but in order to get to this point, we must develop patient endurance. We cannot be moved by what people say or do. We cannot be phased by rejection and criticism. Part of developing Godly patience is developing the ability, by the grace of God, to press through rejection and pain!
4. How you wait can impact how long you wait.
Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers. He was sold into slavery all because he had a dream from God. While he was dealing with the sting of rejection and betrayal, he had to protect his mind and his heart. He had to continue to believe God without getting BITTER! If you get bitter, your bitterness will become a blessing blocker!
Don’t ever allow a root of bitterness to grow in your heart because of anything anyone did. Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and thinking the other person is going to die. All it does it hurt you!
People may not like the fact that you have been PICKED by God for your PURPOSE! They may talk about you because they are insecure. They don’t know who they are. They don’t know what God PICKED them to do. But never allow the insecurity of others to cause you to operate on their level, or to harbor bitterness and resentment in your heart. If others don’t like the favor of God on your life, and they attack you for it, PRAY FOR THEM and KEEP GOING! Keep the dream alive! Their poison cannot stop your purpose! You may be DELAYED, but you will not be DENIED!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for teaching me how to handle rejection and pain. I declare that I am quick to forgive, to embrace Your grace to keep going, to keep believing, and to press through the pain. I refuse to harbor bitterness or unforgivness in my heart. I release everyone who has ever done me harm. I give them over to You. My heart is free. My hands are clean. My belief is intact. My faith is strong. I may have been delayed, but I shall not be denied. Everything You promised me SHALL come to pass in my life BEFORE I DIE! I live by faith and I have patience endurance working in my life! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!