Faith + Patience Part 54 – Focused and Consistent

by Rick

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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 43:32 AMP)

And [the servants] set out [the food] for [Joseph] by himself, and for [his brothers] by themselves, and for those Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, according to the Egyptian custom not to eat food with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

Setting the stage.

Yesterday we left off with Joseph storming out of the room to release his emotions with an overflow of tears.  When he was done crying, he washed his face, regained his composure, returned to the room with his brothers, and said, “Serve the meal!”  The meal was served, and everyone ate, but the seating arrangement was worth mentioning.  Joseph’s brothers sat at one table, the Egyptians who were invited sat at another table, and Joseph sat at a third table, all by himself.  

Scholars say, of this verse, that the Egyptians were, in general, very superstitious people.  They would have no social dealings with people of any other nation.  They could not even use the knife of a Greek because they might have reason to suspect it had cut the flesh of an animal they held sacred.  I understand what the scholars say, but when it all comes down to it, this was prejudice and racism.

The Egyptians knew that Joseph was a Hebrew, so he could not sit with them.  The brothers did not know that Joseph was a Hebrew, so he could not sit with them.  Joseph was too Jewish to sit with the Egyptians but too Egyptian to sit with the Jews.  So there he was, by himself.  Joseph was the second in command of all of Egypt, he was responsible for the feeding of millions of people, he single-handedly saved Egypt, but he was still not good enough to sit with the Egyptians.  Joseph could not even sit with his servants.  That’s how ridiculous racism is.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Complaining will get you nowhere.

Joseph went through a great deal to become the man he was called to be.  He was betrayed by his own blood, forced to live as a slave in a foreign land, sent to prison for years for a crime he did not commit, and then, once he was walking in the blessing, he was still not accepted because he was a Jew living in amongst people who could not stand Jews.  But you know what?  Joseph never complained.  He never got depressed over the fact that he had to eat alone.  The Bible does not say that he ever got discontented, disgruntled, or disillusioned over his treatment.  Joseph never murmured to God about the fact that he did not fit in.

If you are going to do anything significant for God, the truth is that you will have to overcome significant obstacles.  You can complain about it, which will not help, or you can develop the patience required to keep going.  The Greek word translated for patience in the New Testament means “the force of consistency.”  The key to Joseph’s success was that he remained consistent, day in and day out.  I pray you develop Godly patience so you can do the same!

2.  The key to pursuing your purpose is remaining focused.

If you look at anyone in the Bible who God used mightily, the story may be different, but the struggle will be similar to Joseph’s.  Paul was imprisoned, over and over again, for preaching the Gospel.  But he never stopped because he was called by God to do it.  Paul chose to focus on his purpose and not his problems.  This is how we should all live.  John was exiled to the island of Patmos, but he kept on writing what God gave him to say because he understood the call of God on his life.  David spent years as a fugitive, living in caves, all because he was called of God to be king.  Make no mistake; Joseph went through all the mess that he went through because he was determined to become the man he was called to be.  We must live what that same focus.

In the text we are looking at today, Joseph knew he was close to seeing the full manifestation of the dream, but he was not there yet.  So he remained focused.  He wiped his tears, came back into the room, and continued on with the mission.  

a)  Life is not always easy.  It is especially hard when you know what you are called to do, and you know you are not doing it yet.  When you are in transition, in the space between your history and your destiny, it is often difficult to remain focused.  But remain focused, you must!  That’s what Joseph did, and it is what we must all learn to do.

b)  Joseph cried, he went through hard times, he had to live amongst people who did not even respect him enough to eat with him, and he kept going.  I would love to tell you that becoming the man/woman God called you to be will be easy, but I would be lying.  It may cost you everything.  But what you will get in return is the life God called you to live.  Believe me; it will be worth it!          

3.  While pursuing God’s beautiful purpose for your life, don’t allow ugly situations to derail you from your destiny.

Joseph was the #2 man in all of Egypt, he was the hero of the nation, and his plan was working beautifully, but he was still a Jew.  So the Egyptians, even his servants, could not eat with him.

a)  Racism is an ugly reality that raises its head from time to time, even in the church.  It is a major issue in the United States today.

b)  Racism is ugly, but it does not have to stop you.  Their poison cannot stop your purpose.  It did not stop Joseph and it will not stop you! 

c)  If you believe God and The Blessing, you can rise above any challenge, including racism.

d)  Walking and living by faith is not always comfortable.  Sometimes The Blessing and the favor of God will cause you to operate in positions where you just don’t fit in.  You are not there to fit in; you are there to make a difference.

e)  The peace of God can give you the internal fortitude to face every uncomfortable situation with supernatural serenity and strength.

f)  God did not call you to comfort; He called you to purpose!  Remember that!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I know Your hand is upon my life.  Your favor goes before me like a shield.  You bless me to prosper everywhere I go.  You lead me to positions that I have only dreamed of.  Those positions might mean that I am placed in uncomfortable situations.  I will not allow the position You place me in to determine my disposition or my actions.  Your blessing upon my life enables me to remain focused, consistent, and pleasant, even in unpleasant situations.  I am not moved by ugly people or ugly situations!  I am focused and consistent.  Living this way I know that GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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