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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.
(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 41:50-52 MSG)
Joseph had two sons born to him before the years of famine came. Asenath, daughter of Potiphera the priest of On, was their mother. Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh (Forget), saying, “God made me forget all my hardships and my parental home.” He named his second son Ephraim (Double Prosperity), saying, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Trouble don’t last always!
We have seen how the plan God gave Joseph was being executed. God gave him the wisdom to establish a decentralized network of storage locations throughout the nation that would later serve as distribution centers. There was so much grain that they stopped keeping the record, because it was like counting the grains of sand on the seashore.
It was during this time, the seven years of plenty, that God prospered Joseph in his personal life. Joseph and his wife had two sons in this period. They named their first son Manasseh, which in short means, “Forget”. But Joseph said that he gave the boy that name because God helped him forget all the troubles he had been through in order to get to where he was. Joseph named the second boy Ephraim, which means both “Double prosperity.” Joseph said, “God has prospered me in the land of my sorrow.”
a) As much as Joseph had been through, he never gave up on the dream God placed in his heart. Challenge after challenge, he kept believing. At this point in the story, while the dream has not come to pass yet (we are still years away from that), at least the times and seasons had shifted in his favor. The point here is that seasons come and seasons go. Joseph endured many hard times, but hard times don’t last. Hardened people do. Joseph held on until his change came. Will you?
b) There is a season when your harvest will come “due”. Please don’t give up before your due season. You will reap if you faint not (Gal 6:7-9).
c) When patient endurance is operating in your life, and you develop the force of consistency, dutifully remaining the same day-in and day-out, no matter what happens to you, you will be able to hold on long enough to see your breakthrough. It happened for Joseph and it will happen for you!
2. Letting go of your past pain.
Joseph had been through a great deal of pain and heartache. He was betrayed by his own blood, was made to live as a slave, and then spent several years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Even though he had the favor of God on his life, he had suffered a great deal. He named his first child Manasseh (Forget), as a testimony of the fact that God helped him forget the pain of his past.
Whether our past has been good or bad, the truth is we cannot live there. There comes a time where we have to let go of the past in order to move forward. Whenever I have a challenging day, I get up the next morning and utter the following four words. They have helped me over the years. The words are: “Yesterday ended last night!” Whether yesterday was good or bad, up or down, easy or difficult, yesterday is over. This is a brand new day and God has given us fresh grace and mercy for it.
You must learn to LET GO of your past if you ever want to fully LAY HOLD of your future. Joseph named his first boy Manasseh because he was willing to LET GO! Learn from him. You have too much in front of you to waste your life nursing and rehearsing what is behind you!
As I close out this point, I will share a story that drives home the message. I saw an episode of National Geographic one time that showed how monkeys were caught in the jungle. If someone wants to catch a monkey, they place a shiny metal pipe inside a cage. The monkeys are attracted to the shiny pipe. They are able to get their hands in the cage with their palms open. They then clasp on to the pipe and attempt to get the pipe out of the cage. The bars of the cage are not spaced wide enough for a closed fist to get through. The monkeys then stay there for hours struggling to get their closed fists (and the pipe) out of the cage. Some even attempt to bite their hands off before simply just LETTING GO of the pipe. The poachers then simply walk up to the troubled monkey and bag them.
Unfortunately, many believers are like those monkeys. They would rather bite off their hands than to let go of their past. They are holding on to yesterday, not knowing that they are actually delaying their tomorrow! LET GO, so you can LAY HOLD!
3. Your day will come.
This series is about faith and patience. I keep telling you to be patient. Why? Because I know your day will come! There is a day when your breakthrough will come “DUE”.
Once you let go of your past you are free to lay hold of your future. Joseph had to have a “Manasseh” experience so he could experience Ephraim. Ephraim means “Double Prosperity.” This boy was a testimony of the goodness of God in his land of sorrow.
— Ephraim is a reminder that God can use the same place that used to be a place of sorrow and turn it into your place of blessing!
— God is more than capable of blessing you RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE! He does not have to MOVE YOU to BLESS YOU!
— God will make your enemies your footstool. Potiphar and his wife were under Joseph’s leadership.
— God will bless you right in front of your enemies. He will cause those who came against you to serve as the audience in your promotion ceremony, and then they will be right there, watching, as you walk in your season of blessing!
— But this won’t happen until you are willing to LET GO, so you can LAY HOLD. Are you holding on to something this morning? Bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, etc., will keep you from laying hold of God’s best!
— Once Joseph LET GO, he was able to walk in a DOUBLE BLESSING! God gave him DOUBLE for his TROUBLE!
4. God is not against personal prosperity.
I know many people focus on what God has called you to do for others, and they want to talk about the impact that God sent you to this planet to make. I got it. I understand that. I spend most of my teaching on that point. You were born for a reason, that reason is your divine purpose, and my prayer for you is that you leave the mark in this world you were born to leave before you die. I understand that. But the point I am making here is that God is NOT against you ENJOYING THE RIDE!
God prospered Joseph’s work. That is true. That is the main thing. Joseph was on this planet for a reason. But guess what? God prospered Joseph personally as well, and there is nothing wrong with that. People have vilified personal prosperity as if God wants you to be miserable as you walk out His purpose on this planet. God wants us to prosper in every area of our lives. God prospered Joseph’s work, He blessed the nation of Egypt because of Joseph, and He procured Joseph personally as well!
The same God who will bless you to fulfill your assignment at work will also bless you to enjoy a thriving personal life. You can make the business or professional impact you were born to make, but you can do it while also enjoying a great marriage, making the most of your time with your children, being healthy in your body, and having peace in your mind. God wants you to have and ENJOY life, to the full, ‘till it overflows (John 10:10 AMP). Egypt was being blessed because of Joseph, and there was nothing wrong with Joseph enjoying the blessing as well.
Walk-in your prosperity!
Before I get to the closing declaration today, I am lead to SPEAK OVER YOUR LIFE.
I speak prophetically. The Lord says,
“I don’t have to move you to bless you. I will bless you right where you are! I will bless you in front of those who questioned you. I will bless you in front of those who mocked you. Hold on. Your blessing is coming!”
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for giving me the grace to endure all I have endured. It was painful. But it is over. Yesterday ended last night. I don’t look back. I look forward. I look up. I open my heart in expectation. This is my season. This is my time! I LET GO. I am ready to LAY HOLD. Like what You did for Joseph, I believe You will bless me in my place of sorrow. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!