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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. You will need to encourage yourself along the way.
What I am teaching you in this series is how to remain in faith for the long haul. As believers, we must learn to add patience to our faith for the MAJOR things in our life, because MAJOR things we are believing God for don’t manifest overnight. If we are going to develop the grit, determination, and perseverance required to see the MAJOR promises of God come to pass, we will need encouragement from time to time.
Solomon said the following:
(Ecc 3:11 APMC)
God has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
The things I am talking about in this series, things like Joseph’s dream, are so MAJOR that when God grabs them from the halls of eternity and plants them in our hearts and minds (in time), the text says that we will NEVER be satisfied until we become what we saw. We will never be satisfied until we experience what God revealed.
By the end of Genesis 41, Joseph was a blessed man. He had a wife and two kids. He was rich. He had power. He was the Prime Minister of a thriving nation. His plan was working. Everything seemed great. But in the back of his mind and at the bottom of his heart, he was not satisfied yet. Why? Because the dream had not come to pass.
I know what that feels like. I know what it is like to be blessed, truly blessed, but to not be satisfied, because what God said has not come to pass yet. In order to be patient, in order to hold on for the long haul, we must all learn to encourage ourselves by celebrating the victories we experience on the path to our destiny. What you have right now may not be “the thing”, but it is “a thing” you can be happy about. Learning to celebrate these victories will help you remain patient as you wait on God for the manifestation of the MAJOR promise.
2. It is important to take self-inventory from time to time — Count Your Blessings!
I spent time last night and this morning imagining Joseph in Genesis 41. I could see him with his wife and two boys. I could see him executing God’s plan. I could see the smile on his face. I could see him enjoying his blessings.
Sure, the MAJOR promise had not come to pass yet. The dream was still alive in his heart. But if you are going to hold on for the long haul, you are going to have to learn how to celebrate your victories along the way. You must learn to look around and COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! This type of praise becomes fuel for your patience.
3. Establish altars today that will keep you going tomorrow!
a) Establish some altars in your life.
— In Biblical times an altar was a place of worship and sacrifice, but it was also a physical place of remembrance. Followers of God established altars to remind themselves, and future generations, of what God had done.
— If you read the Old Testament, you will see the many times the Israelites established altars that served as memorials of God’s goodness, both for them and for the generations that followed. We all face challenging times. When difficulties come, it is good to be able to go back to a point in our lives where God manifested His goodness. The reminder of what God did in the past helps operate in faith for the future and it also helps us remain patient.
b) Altars help you patiently endure.
— An altar is a place of worship. It’s a place where you can go to commit and recommit yourself to God. It’s a place you can go back to, to show God you appreciate what he did, and how you don’t take His blessings lightly.
— An altar is a tool for legacy. In the Old Testament, the older generation would bring the younger generation to an altar, to tell the story of what God did, in order to help pass on the goodness of God to the next generation. Your children need to know the true source of your strength. Your children can learn a great deal from the challenges you faced and how God saw you through them, especially while you were waiting on “THE BIG THING!”
— An altar serves as a source of divine encouragement. There will be days when you don’t “feel like” a Christian, when you don’t “feel like” living by faith, and when you don’t “feel like” waiting on God anymore. While you are called to live by faith and not by feelings, you are still human and there will be times when you need to overcome your feelings. Altars help with that. If you can go back and TRACE the goodness of God in your life — saying, “I remember this…” and, “I remember that…” — then you will be encouraged to keep going. You can encourage yourself in the Lord when you are able to look back and see God’s goodness all over your past.
*** God is the God of your past, present, and future. He is the God of the already, the God of the right now, and the God of the not yet. The God of your previous victories will also be the God of your future successes! Everything God promised SHALL come to pass in your life before you die. Greater is coming!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for snatching portions of my destiny from the halls of eternity and implanting divine glimpses in my heart and in my mind, in time. What You implanted in me, about my future, has become an eternally implanted sense of purpose, that is working through the ages, and I will never be fully satisfied until I become what I saw. Since this is going to take some time, I learn to celebrate the victories You give me along the way. I establish altars of remembrance, and when I need encouragement, I look back. I don’t look back to get stuck there. I look back to rejoice. I look back to give Your praise. And I then look forward with great expectation. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!