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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.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
(Gen 45:4-8 MSG)
“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
I would love to tell you that once you are walking with God that everything will be easy. But that would be a flat-out lie. The truth is that for you to become the man/woman God called you to be, and for you to realize the dream God put in your heart, you will have to endure more than you ever thought you could. You will have to rely on the grace of God to get you through tough times. You will have to lean on God every step of the way. The good news is that God’s grace is on your life. Without God, you cannot. But with God, you can endure and overcome all things!
2. In every Godly story, there is a person who had to endure something (by God’s grace) that would have crushed others.
The story of Joseph is amazing. But for the story to be this amazing, Joseph had to endure being betrayed by his brothers, living for years as a slave, being imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, and living without his family for 22 years. That’s the part of walking with God that no one wants to highlight.
The story of David is amazing. But for David to become the king of Israel, he had to leave life as he knew it, fight a giant, marry the king’s daughter, survive multiple attacks from the king, live as a fugitive (sometimes in caves) for over a decade, and fight for enemy armies. At his low point, his family was taken, his village was burned down to the ground, and his men turned on him. They wanted to kill him and he had to encourage himself in the Lord.
The story of Moses is amazing. But for Moses to become Moses, he had to be born with a death sentence looming over his head, he was disconnected from his mother before he was 1yr. old, he was forced to live in the house of the man who wanted him dead (Pharaoh), he was raised as an Egyptian while he was called to the Jews, he killed a man unjustly, and he wound up living in the desert, in exile, for 40 years before God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
The story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is amazing. But for that story to happen Jesus to had ignore the request of a family He loved, Mary and Martha had to sit there, for days, wondering why Jesus was not coming, Lazarus had to die and stay dead for four days, and the family had to go through the entire funeral and grieving process, all-the-while wondering why Jesus, who loved them, never showed up.
When we read the story of Joseph, David, Moses, Lazarus, and others, we often forget that real people had to endure real pain in order for these things to happen. And while God did not necessarily MAKE all the bad things happen to them, He was certainly able to grace them to get through it and to then cause the bad to turn around for their good!
You should learn two things from this. First, God never said it would be easy. Second, God is with you every step of the way. When the story of your life is read, people will see the amazing hand of God on you and with you, but they will overlook how much pain you had to endure and all the challenges you had to overcome in order to become the man/woman you were destined to be!
3. God can work with anything that happens to you, good and bad.
God did not make Joseph’s brothers turn on him. God did not force Saul to want to kill David. God was not the reason why Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness (and later, he had another wilderness journey too). God did not put an illness of Lazarus. But God able to take all the bad things that happened to His people and cause them to work out, in the end, for their good!
As the years went by, and as bad thing, after bad thing happened to Joseph, God revealed to Joseph that He was working His purpose through the painful situations. This does not mean that God made the bad things happen. The brothers clearly did it with bad intentions. Joseph later said to them, “You meant it for evil, but God turned it around for my good!” (Gen 50:20). So this does not mean that God makes bad things happen to you. What it means is that God takes whatever is happening to you, good or bad, and makes it turn out for your good. So keep the right perspective. Greater is coming for you!
4. If you have the right perspective, what happened To you can actually wind up turning out FOR you!
God never said life would be easy. God never promised a pain-free path to your purpose. But what kept Joseph going through the 22 years he was disconnected from his family was his faith in God. He knew that in the end, God’s dream was still going to come to pass. This is what this series is all about. Faith and patience are the keys to Godly living.
Bad things are going to happen to you. People will rise up against you. Things will sometimes seem harder than they need to be. Challenges may come in wave after wave. But in the end, the only way you can lose is if you quit. If you choose to give up, cave in and quit, then God will not force you to be blessed. He will not make you become the best version of yourself. But if you DECIDE to keep going, and you EMBRACE the grace of God that is on your life, you will make it to God’s purpose, and you will look back someday in amazement because you won’t believe everything you endured along the way.
Please don’t quit! For God to fully operate in your life, He requires your cooperation. If you say, “YES”, God will say, “LET’S GO!” It won’t be easy. Greatness never is. But if you keep going, you will leave the mark in this world that you were born to make!
GREATER IS COMING FOR YOU!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I acknowledge Your sovereignty in all things. I don’t blame You for the bad things that happen because I know there is a devil. I know the enemy gets a vote. But I do look to You to give me revelation in every situation. Your insight helps me to maintain the proper perspective and the right attitude. I look beyond problems and those who cause them. I am not moved by situations or people. I fix my eyes on You. This is why I can 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!