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Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins.” I am using Joseph as an excellent example of our need for patience. We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life. 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.
(Ecc 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
(Read Gen 43:1-14)
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Setting the Stage.
Chapter 42 ended with Jacob refusing to risk harm to Benjamin by sending him to Egypt. His decision meant that Simeon would remain hostage and that their time was limited. Sure enough, the famine got worse and when the food they brought from Egypt ran out, Jacob said, “Go back to Egypt and get some more food.” But Judah said, “The man warned us most emphatically, ‘You won’t so much as see my face if you don’t have your brother with you.’ Daddy, if you are ready to release Benjamin to us, we’ll go down and get more food. But if you’re not ready, we’re not going. What would be the use?‘” What a dilemma. Jacob was frustrated. He said, “Why are you making my life so difficult! Why did you ever tell the man you had another brother?” That was irrelevant at this point, but frustration will make you focus on things that cannot help.
Judah pushed his father saying, “Let the boy go; I’ll take charge of him. Let us go and be on our way – if we don’t get going, we’re all going to starve to death – we and you and our children too! I’ll take full responsibility for his safety; it’s my life on the line for his. If I don’t bring him back safe and sound, I’m the guilty one; I’ll take all the blame. If we had gone ahead in the first place instead of procrastinating like this, we could have been there and back twice over.”
The criticality of the situation finally set in. Jacob realized that all their lives were in danger. Jacob gave in and said, “If it has to be, it has to be. Fine! But do this: stuff your packs with the finest products from the land you can find and take them to the man as gifts – some balm and honey, some spices and perfumes, some pistachios and almonds. And take plenty of money – pay back double what was returned to your sacks; that might have been a mistake. Take your brother and get going. Go back to the man.” Jacob finally seemed to come around. He was willing to use the resources he had; money was not the issue. The need in this case was faith and food.
Jacob said, “When you go in to see the governor, I pray that God All-Powerful will be good to you and that the governor will let your other brother and Benjamin come back home with you. If I must lose my children, I suppose I must.” I am going to focus in on that last statement today. It shows both faith and frustration.
2. We all get frustrated from time to time.
Jacob said, “When you go in to see the governor, I pray that God All-Powerful will be good to you and that the governor will let your other brother and Benjamin come back home with you. If I must lose my children, I suppose I must.” In one breath Jacob prays that the God All-Powerful would give them grace and favor and then, in the next breath, he resigns to losing his children.
This reminds me of a statement made by a father in the New Testament. His son needed to be healed, Jesus told him, “Everything is possible for the person who believes,” and the father replied, “I believe! Help my unbelief.”
We have all been there. We all know what it is like to get frustrated and disillusioned with a situation that is taking longer than we want, and it is getting harder than we ever expected. Jacob is the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. The nation is named after him. He wrestled with an angel. He saw a ladder going up to heaven. The New Testament speaks highly of him. But in this text, in real life, he was frustrated. Listen, we all get there. You are not alone. Just relax. God saw Jacob through this and He will do the same for you! God is still God and greater is still coming for you!
3. You must resist frustration while you are waiting on the Promises of God!
I know what it is like to say:
— God, why is this taking so long?
— Why is this so hard?
— Why is this happening to me?
— Maybe I did not hear from God like I thought I did.
— Maybe it is not going to happen like I want it to happen.
— Maybe it is not going to happen at all!
Listen, frustration will make you focus on the wrong things. When you are focused on the wrong things, you will say the wrong words and perform the wrong actions.
You are not the only person who has struggled to operate in faith, who has wavered between faith and frustration, who has prayed in faith and then turned around and spoke failure. This message helps you realize that even the Bible giants struggled between faith and frustration. But it does not mean that you cannot overcome it.
Jacob weathered this storm and you can weather yours. Muster up the faith you have and apply your faith to your famine. Mustard seed faith can produce mountain-like results!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I overcome fear, failure, and frustration with my faith. I muster up the faith I have and apply my faith to my famine. You know my heart. You know my frustrations. You know my struggles. You know what I have faced. I now look past my past and I move forward towards my future. I speak in faith and I declare that I overcome every frustration in my life. My God is bigger than my issue! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!