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. There are lessons to be learned in every season. Let’s get into today’s message.
(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.
(Ecc 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
(Gen 40:1-18) This is an abbreviated version of the passage
Later, two of Pharaoh’s servants did something wrong to the king. These servants were the baker and the butler, the man who served wine to Pharaoh. Pharaoh became angry with both men and had them thrown into the same prison as Joseph. The men were placed under Joseph’s care.
One night both of the prisoners had a dream. The butler and the baker each had their own dream with its own meaning. Joseph went to them the next morning. They looked worried. He asked, “Why the long faces?” The two men answered, “We both had dreams last night, but we don’t understand what we dreamed. There is no one to explain the dreams to us.” Joseph said, “God is the only one who can understand and explain dreams. So tell me your dreams.”
The butler said, “I dreamed I saw a vine. On the vine there were three branches. I watched the branches grow flowers and then become grapes. I was holding Pharaoh’s cup, so I took the grapes and squeezed the juice into the cup. Then I gave the cup to Pharaoh.” Then Joseph said, “I will explain the dream to you. The three branches mean three days. Before the end of three days, Pharaoh will forgive you and allow you to go back to your work. You will do the same work for Pharaoh as you did before. But when you are free, please don’t forget about me. Be good to me and help me. Tell Pharaoh about me so that I can get out of this prison. I was kidnapped and taken from the land of my people, the Hebrews. I have done nothing wrong! I should not be in prison.”
The baker saw that the other servant’s dream was good, so he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream. I dreamed there were three baskets of bread on my head. In the top basket there were all kinds of baked food for the king, but birds were eating this food.” Joseph answered, “I will tell you what the dream means. The three baskets mean three days. Before the end of three days, the king will take you out of this prison and cut off your head! He will hang your body on a pole, and the birds will eat it.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
Setting the stage:
While you are waiting on God to do what He said He would do in your life, if what you are waiting for is something big, then you will actually have to endure multiple seasons in the space between the promise and the performance of it. In that space, while you are waiting on God, you should wait with your heart open to make the most of every season. If your heart is open, God will allow you to experience things you have never experienced before. These things may not be what He promised, but like I shared yesterday, it will be the “thing” that is getting you ready for the “thing”.
God gave Joseph a dream in his heart when he was 17. His brothers attacked him because they wanted to kill the dream. But since no one can stop God’s purpose, many years later, Joseph was still alive and the dream was still alive in his heart. While he was waiting (patiently) for the dream to come to pass, he made the most of the season he was in and he ran the prison.
While he was running the prison, Pharaoh’s butler and baker showed up. I will highlight a few things we can learn from Joseph’s interaction with them.
1. You don’t have to look like what you have been through.
While Joseph was waiting on God to manifest the dream he had in his heart, Joseph waited patiently and purposefully. Although you can say that he had been through “hell”, Joseph amazing maintained a good attitude and he made the most of every situation he was in.
When the butler and the baker were in prison with him and they were worried about the dreams they had received the night before, Joseph walked up to them, he saw the worried look on their faces, and he said, “Hey guys, why the long faces?” In other words, he was saying, “We are in prison, but we don’t have to allow the prison to be IN US!”
The word translated patience in the New Testament is a Greek word that means: the ability to remain the same; the force of consistency.
While you are waiting on God to do what He said He would do, you will endure hardships, you will have to go through things you would rather not experience, but no matter what you go through, you don’t have to LOOK LIKE IT!
When Godly patience is at work in your life you can get up every morning with a spring in your step, a smile on your face, and a song on your heart, while you are waiting on God, knowing that GREATER IS COMING! Joseph was in prison, but he refused to allow the prison to steal his joy.
While you are waiting on God to do what He said He would do in your life, please don’t wait in a sad state. Please don’t murmur and complain while you wait. If you do, you are missing out on your today for something that may not happen for a long time. I have made this mistake. Take it from me. God is not pleased when we fail to realize that His promises will not manifest until their time. So don’t allow the expectation of your tomorrow to cause you to lose the joy of your today! And no matter what you go through, while you wait, remember that you don’t have to LOOK LIKE IT!
2. If you maintain the right attitude and you resist the urge to grow bitter while you are waiting on God, your heart will be open everything God has for you on the road to your destiny.
Joseph had some amazing experiences while he was waiting on God. But he could have missed out on those things if he had grown bitter and shut down. Learn from Joseph. Keep your heart open to every experience. This is how you make the most of every season.
Joseph received a dream from God when he was a teenager. But he had never interpreted dreams. However, when presented with the opportunity, he was open to whatever God wanted to do.
The point for you is that you must remain open. You never really know what God has planned for you. You may think you know, but many times we just don’t know. His plans are better than our plans. His ways are higher than our ways. We serve a God who is able to do far beyond what we are able to ask, think, or even imagine (Eph 3:20). So while you wait on God to do one thing, keep your heart open to anything else He wants to do in you, with you and through you.
God used Joseph to interpret dreams. God can use you to do amazing things as well. You just have to be open to it. Keep your heart OPEN to God! You never know when God will want to do a NEW THING in your life. It may not be the THING you are waiting on. But it will be a NEW THING and it will ultimately prepare you for the THING you have been believing God for.
3. Since the grace of God is God enabling us to do what we could never do without Him, there is really nothing we cannot do if we keep our heart open to God.
The grace of God is His super on your natural. By grace, God empowers you to do what you could never do without Him. Therefore, since God can do all things, if you open your heart to God, and you are willing to allow Him to work through you, this means you can do all things as well.
Joseph sensed in his heart that God wanted to use him to interpret dreams. He had never done that before. But since he was not the one doing the interpretations anyway, he simply opened his heart to God and God provided a supernatural understanding of the dreams.
For Joseph it was dreams, for you it can be something else. The point is that if you keep your heart OPEN to God and His grace, there is no limit to what God can do through you. It may not be what you have been waiting for. It may not be what you wanted. But since it is what God wants, believe me, it will be something that is preparing you for the next level. Joseph’s encounter with the butler and the baker took him one step closer to his destiny. If you keep your heart open to God, and you simply do whatever He leads you to do, every day you will get closer to yours as well. And along the way, you will experience NEW THINGS!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, my heart is open to all You want to do in my life. I am waiting patiently for the BIG THING You said. But while I wait, I keep my heart open to whatever You want to do, and however You want to do it. This way, I am always open to NEW THINGS! There is nothing You can’t do. You live in me. Therefore, there is nothing I can’t do when I allow You to give me the words and perform the work. I launch out into this day with my heart OPEN to whatever You want to do in me, with me and through me; even if it is something NEW! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!