Faith + Patience Part 20 – Overcoming the Pain of a Setback

by Rick

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 am using Joseph as a good example of our need for patience.

We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life.  Each phase (paternal, pit, Potiphar, prison, and palace/Prime Minister) has significance to this series and to our lives.  Today we will look at the Potiphar phase again, with an introduction to the prison phase.

(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.

(Gen 39:7-19 ERV)

7 Joseph was a very handsome, good-looking man.  After some time, the wife of Joseph’s master began to pay special attention to him. One day she said to him, “Sleep with me.”

8 But Joseph refused. He said, “My master trusts me with everything in his house. He has given me responsibility for everything here. 

9 My master has made me almost equal to him in his house. I cannot sleep with his wife! That is wrong! It is a sin against God.”

10 The woman talked with Joseph every day, but he refused to sleep with her. 

11 One day Joseph went into the house to do his work. He was the only man in the house at the time. 

12 His master’s wife grabbed his coat and said to him, “Come to bed with me.” But Joseph ran out of the house so fast that he left his coat in her hand.

13 The woman saw that Joseph had left his coat in her hand and had run out of the house. 

14 She called to the men outside and said, “Look! This Hebrew slave was brought here to make fun of us. He came in and tried to attack me, but I screamed. 

15 My scream scared him and he ran away, but he left his coat with me.” 

16 Then she kept his coat until her husband, Joseph’s master, came home. 

17 She told her husband the same story. She said, “This Hebrew slave you brought here tried to attack me! 

18 But when he came near me, I screamed. He ran away, but he left his coat.”

19 Joseph’s master listened to what his wife said, and he became very angry. 

20 So Potiphar put Joseph into the prison where the king’s enemies were held, and that is where Joseph remained.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  The favor of God is attractive.

When I say, “The favor of God is attractive,” I don’t mean from a physical beauty perspective.  What I am mean is that God’s favor will attract things to you.  When God’s favor is on your life, like it was on Joseph, to the point where everything you do is successful by God’s grace, you will attract people with both good and bad intentions.

From a good perspective, when the favor of God is in operation in your life, people are drawn to you to help you.  It’s like God illuminates your work.  He causes His light to shine upon all you do and people notice.  God then touches their hearts and they go out of their way to help you.  This is what happened in Potiphar’s house.  God favored the work of Joseph’s hands.  Everything he touched was successful.  Potiphar noticed.  He realized that the God of Joseph was causing him to experience success.  So Potiphar put Joseph in charge of just about everything in the house.  

Joseph was learning things, as he ran Potiphar’s domestic operation, that he would have never learned at home.  He had the dream from God in his heart.  He knew it was not the right season yet.  So, as I am teaching in this series, he was patient.  He did what he needed to do, knowing that someday he was going to get to do what he wanted to do.  He did it with a spirit of excellence and God favored the work of his hands.  We should all learn from Joseph.  This is a good example of how you wait on God correctly.  You maintain your expectation for your tomorrow, while you make the most of your today!

From a bad perspective, the favor of God on your life will attract opposition from the enemy.  Potiphar’s wife was drawn to Joseph, and not for good reasons.  She tried time and time again, to sleep with Joseph.  I am pretty impressed that the young man refused every one of her advances.  He maintained his Godly integrity.  This is another lesson to learn while you are waiting on God.  The enemy will come to attempt to derail you from your destiny, but you must be so determined to become the man/woman you are called to be that you refuse to be moved from your purpose.  Don’t take the bait!  Stay the course.  Remain on God’s path.  In the fullness of time, you will receive the promise!

2.  Sometimes you experience setbacks even when you are doing the right things.

I would love to tell you that when you start walking with God that everything is going to be great or easy.  But if I did, I would be lying.  Many people think that Godly prosperity means that you don’t face opposition.  But if that were true, why would the Bible teach us so much about determination, joy, courage, perseverance, and patience?  You need all these things to become the man/woman you are called to be because you are going to face tremendous pushback from the enemy.  If you are called to do something great in this world, you are going to have to overcome great opposition and pain.

Bad things happen to good people, even while they are believing God.  So there Joseph was, minding his own business, making the most out of a bad situation, and God favored him to the point where he was a prosperous slave.  The hand of God was on him.  The dream of God was alive in his heart.  And without him doing anything wrong, he falsely accused of sexual assault and he was thrown in prison.  This came after he was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and then sold off as a slave.  The crazy part of all of this is that the ONLY reason these things were happening to Joseph was HIS CALLING.  He was going through what he was going through because he was CALLED by God to do something great!  Guess what?  The same will happen with you if you are called to greatness and you ACCEPT the call!

This is why you need faith and patience.  Greatness is not developed overnight.  Especially if God has called you to do something that will put you in the public eye.  Joseph was going to be the Prime Minister of the most powerful nation of his day.  David was called to be the King of Israel, during a time of great favor for the nation.  Paul was called to become the most influential character of the first-century church.  All three faced tremendous opposition, and God prepared all three for their very public assignments while they were forgotten.  God takes those that He has called for a great platform and He prepares them in obscurity.  Because if you cannot be faithful to God when no one knows your name, you will be unfaithful to Him when everyone does.

This type of separation and preparation is part of the process.  And it is why you need both faith and patience to become the man/woman you are called to be. 

3.  Never allow yourself to develop spiritual amnesia.

I have already shared a great deal today.  I will simply introduce this last thought and develop it more tomorrow.

The point I want to make here is that when something painful happens to a believer as it did to Joseph, it is understandable if the believer forgets about the promise/dream.  It’s like the believer gets spiritual amnesia.  But just like you should never allow the EXPECTATION you have for your tomorrow to cause you to miss out on the JOY of your today, you should never allow the PAIN of your today to cause you to forget about the PROMISE you have for your tomorrow!  Balancing what you are experiencing today, while you keep your hope alive for your tomorrow, is part of living by faith and developing patience as you do!

That’s enough for today.  I will talk more about this point tomorrow.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I am called to greatness.  I accept the call.  I as I walk in the authenticity of my anointing, living out my divine assignment on this planet, I know Your favor is on me.  Your favor attracts both help from some and attacks from others.  But I shall not be moved.  I remain persistent, consistent and faithful, even through setbacks, disappointments, and pain.  In the end, I shall become the man/woman You have called me to be and I will leave the mark in this world I was born to leave.  I will do this by Your grace.  I will do this for Your glory!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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