Faith + Patience Part 64 – God’s Plan and The Role of Pressure

by Rick

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.

(We will cover Gen 46:1-7 today)

Let’s get into it.

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

1.  The importance of worship.

At this point in the story, Jacob was convinced that Joseph was alive and waiting for him in Egypt.  He was ready to move.  He was even more ready to see his long-lost son.  Jacob packed up everything he owned and he led his family to Egypt.  On the way, he stopped near the town of Beersheba.  He stopped there to worship.  He offered sacrifices to God.  I will pause here to say that worship must be part of your normal routine.  You should never cease to praise and worship the Lord your God, no matter what is going on in your life.  Jacob was leaving everything he knew for something he was unfamiliar with.  He was doing what his grandfather Abraham had done.  And along the way, he stopped to worship!  Let this serve as a reminder to you that you should take a PRAISE BREAK from time to time.  Especially now, with everything going on in the world.

After Jacob worshipped, he spent the night there.  That night God spoke to him.  Another important note about worship is that worship puts you in position to hear from God.  Worship helps you to forget about yourself and what you are going through, to concentrate on God and His goodness, and to open your heart to receive.  It was in this posture that God spoke and Jacob heard.  God said, “Jacob!  Jacob!  I am God, the same God your father worshiped.  Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt.  I will give you so many descendants that one day they will become a nation.  I will go with you to Egypt, and later I will bring your descendants back here.  Your son Joseph will be at your side when you die.”  

— God is always speaking.  We may not always be in position to hear what He is saying.  Jacob got in a position to hear God when He worshipped.  Please learn from him.

— I am a worshipper.  When you praise God, you thank Him for what He has done.  When you worship Him, you simply exalt Him and His name just for who He is!  It has nothing to do with what He has done for you.  You are worshipping God because He is God.  When you do, He comes down and inhabits your worship.  Some of my most amazing experiences with God have come in worship!

2.  The power of a word of confirmation.

God is gracious enough to reassure us from time to time.  He will give us a confirming word when we need it.  Jacob was leaving everything he knew, and he was going into the unknown.  God gave him a word of confirmation.  God said, “Jacob!  Jacob!  I am God, the same God your father worshiped.  Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt.”  Sometimes that’s all we need.  We just want to know that we are doing the right thing.  

— God can give you confirmation directly, by His Spirit or through His Word.  He can also do it through others.  However it comes, always thank God when He reassures you that you are on the right path!

3.  God’s plan is always in motion.  

Jacob’s journey to Egypt with his entire family would become a critical hinge point in the history of the Jews.  To better understand what was going on in the “big picture” of God’s plan we have to go back to Jacob’s grandfather Abraham.  Back when Abraham was still referred to as Abram, God spoke to him and said, “Abram, you will live to an old age and die in peace.  But I solemnly promise that your descendants will live as foreigners in a land that doesn’t belong to them.  They will be forced into slavery and abused for four hundred years.  But I will be the judge of that nation whose servants they are, and they will come out from among them with great wealth.” (Gen 15:13,14).

Although it is not documented in the Bible, I believe it is safe to assume that Abraham passed down what God had told him to his son Isaac and Isaac passed it down to Jacob.  Even if Jacob did not connect the dots between what God said to his grandfather and what was happening with his family, looking back, the descendants of Abraham can see that God was working, even when Jacob and his boys did not realize He was working.

— God has a plan for your life.

— His plan was set before the world began.

— God’s plan was established with His foreknowledge of your decisions.

— Based on God’s foreknowledge of your decisions and actions, God mapped out your life and He already set things up in your favor.

— God is always working.  He is working when you can’t see His hand.  He is working when You don’t know what He is doing.  Sometimes you need to remind yourself of this, so you can BE STILL and know that God is still God!

4.  God uses pressure to process you!

As Jacob and his family were heading into Egypt to be reunited with Joseph, it is important to point out that they were still operating at the “family stage” and no the “nation stage” yet.  God’s original promise to Abraham was to make of him a “great nation” (Gen 12:2).  Several years and two generations later, the family was blessed, but they were still just a family.  

When Jacob spent the night near Beersheba to worship God, that night God reiterated to Jacob that someday his family would become a great nation.  The Bible tells us that Jacob’s family, at this point, totaled 70 people (Gen 46:27).  A family with 70 members is a pretty big family, but it is far from being a nation.  

Here’s my point: Jacob’s family of 70, under the pressure of 400 years of bondage to the Egyptians, would come out as millions of people.  These people would form the nation of Israel (aka Jacob).  This is the nation God promised they would become.  But it would not happen without pressure!

— Pressure can work for you or against you.  Some people buckle under pressure.  Others thrive under it.  The people of God in this case exponentially multiplied under pressure and we can do the same.

— Jacob went into Egypt with 70.  His descendants came out, 400 years later, after tremendous pressure, as a nation.  And they came out with the wealth of the Egyptians.  

— Joseph was forced out of his home and sold into slavery.  At that point, he was just a boy.  But after the PRESSURE of the PIT phase, POTIPHAR phase, and PRISON phase, he came out of the other side of the processing as the PRIME MINISTER of Egypt!

— Many today are under tremendous pressure.  God is not using pressure to punish you.  He is using the pressure to process you.  You will come out on the other side of this much better than you went it!

Declaration of Faith

Father, I know You have a plan for my life.  Your plan is always working.  The blessing is on me, even when I don’t feel like is.  Your plan is in operation, even when I don’t know what is going on.  I trust You!  I believe the blessing of Abraham and the blessing of Jesus are on my life.  Whatever happens TO ME is actually happening FOR ME!  Pressure does not break me.  It processes me for my purpose.  Therefore, 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!

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