Faith + Patience Part 27 – Beginning Again (Times and Seasons)

by Rick

Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins”.  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.  

Yesterday I introduced the concept of “Growing into your grace.”  I will continue to flow in that same vein today.  Let’s get into it.

(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 39:21-23 MSG)

But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.

(Ecc 3:1 KJV)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

(Ecc 3:1 ERV)

There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.

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

1.  Times and Seasons.

Part of being patient with God is learning to manage the ebbs and flows, the times and seasons of life.  Solomon taught us that “there is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.”

When God calls you to something big like He did with Joseph, the greater the assignment from God, the greater the level of preparation (for you), and the greater the level of opposition (from the enemy).  So you have to learn to be patient, to endure the ups and downs, and to remain in faith, for the long haul.

God called Joseph to greatness from a young age.  Remarkably, Joseph believed God’s dream.  He did not know HOW it was going to happen.  He did not know WHEN it would manifest.  I am sure he did not think it was going to take 20+ years.  But like all of us, he had to learn to wait on God’s timing.  When it finally happens, we will look back, with the benefit of the context hindsight gives us, and acknowledge that it happened right when it was supposed to happen.  Before the right time came, we were not ready and the conditions were not set.  But when the fullness of time comes, the conditions will be right, our heart will be open to receive, and our character will be developed to the point where we are able to handle the weight of the anointing associated with the assignment.  Therefore, my point here is simple: make the most of every season of your life, and remain faithful to God, because eventually, it will be the right time and you will receive what God promised!

2.  Beginning Again.

So there he (Joseph) was, in prison, beginning again.  After dealing with the sting fo the betrayal of his brothers, and after learning to make the most of his time in Potiphar’s house, he was starting all over again.  He had just really gotten good at managing Potiphar’s domestic operation.  He was just getting comfortable living as the “boss” when Potiphar was not around.  But before he could get too comfortable, Mrs. Potiphar lied on him, and he would up in prison, beginning again.  

We all go through this.  Your name may not be Joseph.  The betrayal may not have come from your family.  The lie may not have come from your boss’ wife.  But we all have to swallow “bitter pills” on the path to our purpose.  We all have to deal with disappointment and pain on the road to our destiny.  And there are going to be times, like it happened with Joseph, when we feel like we are beginning again.

It takes a lot of patience to not just wait on God, but to endure multiple seasons and progress through multiples stages/levels as you do.  By the time Joseph got the point where he ‘got the handle’ on running Potiphar’s home, he was living a pretty good life.  He was the boss man when Potiphar was not around.  Even when Potiphar was at home, Joseph was the #2.  Things were going well for him.  He was a slave, but a prosperous one.  The favor of God caused Joseph to experience prosperity as a slave.  Let that sink in for a minute.  That is crazy, but it happened.  He prospered during his season of slavery.  If he would have stayed at that level until the dream manifested it would be been alright.  But Mrs. Potiphar would not “leave well enough alone”.  She lied on him, he would up in prison, and he had to BEGIN AGAIN!

I’ve been there.  I know what it is like to begin again, over and over, through multiple seasons of your life, all while you are waiting on God to do what He said He would do.  Guess what?  These changes are part of the process and these cycles are actually part of your prosperity.  I believe it is God’s will for us to prosper.  But that does not mean that prosperity is always pleasant.  God can cause you to prosper, even in seasons and situations that you would rather bypass.  But you cannot bypass something God requires.  He requires you to go through all you must go through in order to receive what He said.  It’s all part of your prosperity.  

This is a part of understanding God’s will for you to prosper that many Pastors leave out.  But I won’t.  I will tell you the truth.  Prosperity does not mean the absence of opposition.  It just means you will triumph over it and/or through it.  So if it does not look like you are winning, it is because the battle is not over.  You will come out on top!

Keep going.  I know you don’t like to begin again.  None of us do.  But hold on.  Greater is coming.  The only way you can lose is if you quit.      

3.  God is the ONE constant in a life full of change.

Joseph was in a new place, with new leadership, under new management, and with its own set of new challenges.  The one constant Joseph had in the middle of a life full of change was God.  God favored Joseph while he was at home with his father (during the Paternal phase).  God favored Joseph while he was living as a slave (the Potiphar phase).  And sure enough, God favored Joseph while he was locked up in jail (the Prison phase).  The text says, “But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.”  

God gave Joseph favor with the warden and God favored the work of his hands.  While it is true that Joseph still had the dream in his heart, and while it is true that being in prison was not what he saw in the dream, Joseph had to deal with the reality that his time had not yet come.  This is something I have had to deal with and just about anyone, who is anyone, who has ever walked with God, has had to learn this lesson. 

— When you realize that your time as not come yet, there is really nothing you can do about it but wait.  You have to wait on God.  And since HOW you wait can impact HOW LONG you wait, it is best to wait with the right attitude.

— When you wait with the right attitude, and you keep your open to God, He is able to teach you what you need to learn on the path to your purpose… while you are waiting.  This is critical.  Because the promise will not be manifested until the circumstances are right and until you are ready for it.

— While your circumstances may have changed, rest assured in knowing that God has not.  He still knows all things.  He still has all power.  He is still sitting on the circle of the earth.  He is still committed to the plans He made for you before the world began.  So while the world is ever-changing, you can find peace in a God who changes NOT!   

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I thank You for helping me to see the big picture.  For helping me to see things from Your perspective.  You see the end from the beginning.  You see what is not like it already is.  Therefore, You are not moved by times or seasons.  You are not moved as I progress through levels and stages.  And You are not in a hurry either.  So I learn to look at my life through the lens of faith.  I learn to open my heart to Your point of view.  My understanding of my future, helps me deal with my present, even when it feels like I am beginning again!  Living this way, I am able to make the most of my today, while I wait on my tomorrow.  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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

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