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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 42:23-24 MSG)
Joseph had been using an interpreter, so they didn’t know that Joseph was understanding every word. Joseph turned away from them and cried. When he was able to speak again, he took Simeon and had him tied up, making a prisoner of him while they all watched.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Pain is part of life.
Friday we left off with the brothers realizing that they were reaping what they had sown. Reuben continued in that vein and said, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t hurt the boy’? But no, you wouldn’t listen. And now we’re paying for his murder.” Little did they know that Joseph was standing right before them, listening to the entire conversation. They spoke freely in front of him because they thought he could not understand their language. The entire time, Joseph remained in character, and he spoke to them through a translator.
So think about Joseph for a minute. The brothers who sold him into slavery and left him to die were standing before him. He was no longer the kid brother with no power against them. The tables were now turned. He had the power. He had armed killers at his disposal. One word and all 10 brothers could be assassinated. But he restrained himself.
What gets me is the fact that he could understand everything they were saying, and since the brothers did not know that, they spoke freely in front of Joseph. It’s like a group of people are talking about you and you have a front-row seat to the conversation. No doubt their conversation brought back distant memories of his horrible experience in the pit, as a slave, and then later as a prisoner. 20 years of emotion flooded through his body. It was too much to handle. He stepped away for a few moments, and he broke down and cried. He was living so good that he had suppressed the hurt and pain. But at that moment, looking at his brothers, hearing openly talk about what they did to him, he lost it.
— Being a Christian does not exonerate us from painful situations. I have endured my fair share of pain. The good news is that God gives us the ability to overcome the pain, to get back up again, and to move forward by faith! Joseph did just that. He regained his composure, he looked past the pain, and he focused on the promise of God (the dreams).
— Joseph still had a plan to complete. He wanted to see Benjamin and he wanted the second dream to be fulfilled. He continued to act out his plan, in character, and had Simeon arrested while the rest of the brothers watched (see Genesis 42:22-24).
— His focus on the promise was what enabled him to operate in compassion and forgiveness, instead of resentment and revenge. Learn from Joseph. If you focus on God’s promise you will be amazed at how much pain you can overcome.
2. Love is a choice and so is forgiveness.
God commands us in His Word to operate in love and to forgive, but we are free moral agents and we still have to “choose” to do so. Love is a choice. Forgiveness is a choice. This also means that hatred is a choice. Resentment is a choice. Make the right decisions. Choose to operate in love, compassion, and forgiveness; not hatred, resentment, and pain. Joseph was blessed, but it was partly because he had the ability to forgive.
In Luke 6 Jesus was being followed by a great number of disciples. He broke away from the crowd and spent all night praying for direction. The next morning He chose the 12 Apostles out of the crowd. With His team in place, Jesus went on to minister to the crowd, healing the sick and casting out demons. Afterward, Jesus said, “To you who are ready for the truth, I say this: Love your enemies…”
Jesus was talking about a supernatural love. Jesus made it clear from the beginning that Godly love extends beyond human love. Human love loves those that love them back. Human love loves those that are easy to love. Human love is contingent upon circumstances being right, but the love of God empowers us to extend beyond the limitations of human love and to love those we would never love otherwise.
— If you want to make the most of the life God has given you, you must learn to release every BLESSING BLOCKER from your heart. Bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness are BLESSING BLOCKERS!
3. The promise can get us past the pain.
This series is about faith and patience. It is about believing God for the MAJOR things He has called you to, and then remaining in faith no matter how long it takes in order for you to SEE what God SAID! Well, guess what? If you are going to live this way you are going to have to learn to get past painful situations. People are going to hurt you along the way. You can choose to hold on to that pain, or you can learn to get past it. One of the greatest ways to get past the pain is to focus on God’s promise!
— Your outlook will often determine your outcome. Joseph was able to keep the proper perspective.
— Joseph focused on the promise and his focus enabled him to look past the pain.
— If you keep your focus on the pain you will never fulfill the promises of God in your life.
— Make a decision, right now, to live life from God’s point of view. If you look at your situations from God’s perspective, you will be amazed at how much at you endure and overcome!
4. Keep Going – Choose Your Divinity Over Your Humanity!
One of the most common characteristics of champions is their ability to keep going. They just simply never give up. Joseph could have given up in the pit, in Potiphar’s house, in prison, or during this resurrection of pain. But through it all, Joseph refused to quit. He simply kept going and we must do the same!
— When you add patience to your faith you will build up the divine power to keep going when your humanity is telling you to quit.
— You are a human conduit of the divine. If you are Born-Again, you are a human walking around with God on the inside of him/her. This means you have humanity and divinity in you. There will be many times, on the road to your destiny, when your humanity gets overwhelmed, when you will cry like Joseph cried, and when you will feel waves of urges to give up, cave in and quit. But if you want to become the man/woman God called you to be, if you want to arrive at God’s overall expected end for your life, you will have to tap into your divinity in those moments of humanity.
— There will be many moments when you realize the pain is real. You will feel it. It will hurt. You may cry. But if you are determined and if you have developed divine patience along the way, you will find the supernatural strength you need to KEEP GOING!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I have the ability to look past the pain in my life and to focus on Your promises. My outlook helps shape my outcome. I have the proper focus and it enables me to walk in Your love, compassion, and forgiveness. You are love. You live in me. You enable me to love with Your love and to walk in Your peace while I do it. Your love empowers me to keep on going! Therefore, I do! And as I do, I boldly declare that GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!