Anybody feeling very stuck in life?
Like you aren't really moving forward or going anywhere?
Anyone having a really tough time?
Your circumstances right now just seem as bad as they could possibly be?
Life is just kind of hard and it always feel as if it's getting worse and worse.
You are probably trying to remain obedient and faithful to God through it all, but you keep asking yourself if God is playing a sick game with you.
It is probably really difficult to remain faithful and obedient in this season....
I am here to say, hold on!
I was reading in Genesis the other day and God spoke to me through His Word. It was a story I know very well but this time it seemed like something was jumping out of the text and slapping me right in the face.
You have to love how God does that right?
Genesis 40 and 41 picks up half way through Joseph’s story and it has been a pretty wild ride thus far.
Joseph was in a large family and he was the youngest and favored by his father. His father made Joseph a beautiful robe to wear and his brothers were not very happy with him.
On top of all of that, God would speak to Joseph in dreams and Joseph would share these dreams with his brothers. These dreams always showed Joseph in the center of his entire family and they would bow before him.
As you can imagine this didn't make him any more popular than he already was with his brothers.
They plotted to kill him but instead they sold him into slavery.
Joseph eventually found himself in Egypt and bought to be a servant for Potiphar.
Joseph maintained his faithfulness and obedience to God through all of this. You can see this by the way Potiphar treated him.
Potiphar promoted him to be head of all of his servants. He was over everything except Potiphar and his wife. The problem was Potiphar's wife had a bit of a crush on Joseph.
Joseph remained faithful and obedient to God and his master by refusing to sleep with Potiphar's wife. Unfortunately, despite his obedience he found himself locked in prison for something did not do.
Somehow, even now, Joseph remained obedient.
In prison he found favor with the guards. They put him in charge of all the prisoners.
That's crazy! Joseph is still faithful and obedient to the Lord despite his circumstances.
While in prison, two other servants of Pharaoh had dreams. Joseph, giving credit to God, interpreted their dreams.
When he interpreted the cup bearers dream, he found a possible way out of this crumby circumstance he found himself in. As soon as the cup bearer was restored to his job with Pharaoh, he could mention Joseph and he would be set free.
Unfortunately, the cup bearer suffered from short term memory loss or something and completely forgot about Joseph.
Joseph remained in prison, that same unfortunate circumstance, for another two. Full. Years.
Surely, Joseph is fed up and will curse God, right?
After the two years, Pharaoh had a dream that he needed interpreted. After he had all sorts of magicians attempt to interpret his dream, the cup bearer’s memory was seemingly jogged. He remembered Joseph and Pharaoh sent for him right away.
We all know how the story goes... Joseph interprets the dream correctly and makes Joseph his right-hand man.
Joseph went from prisoner to the most powerful man in Egypt aside from Pharaoh.
I love Joseph’s story! His faithfulness and obedience are incredible. Despite the circumstance he found himself in, he remained obedient to God.
I really wish I could say I have just as much faith as Joseph, but I honestly do not see how I could have remained obedient through all of that.
Here is the problem with me... I think that obedience produces immediate blessing.
If I obey God through the hard times today, then he will bless me tomorrow. And when he doesn't, my confidence in God seems to fail.
I can survive some hard times for a little bit, but two years is too much.
The reality is that God's faithfulness does not change despite how obedient/disobedient we are. He remains constant through it all.
Look at Joseph’s life! If God's theology was the same as mine then Joseph would never have found Himself in the position He did.
If God would have blessed Joseph based on his obedience then maybe the cup bearer would have remembered Joseph immediately and he would have been released two years earlier than he was... but then where would he have been?
Certainly not the second most powerful man leading the charge through the worst famine the world has ever seen.
The other problem with obedience resulting in immediate blessing is that it is very selfish. It turns into me "obeying" God simply for myself, rather than obeying God because He is so Worthy of my obedience.
Joseph’s blessing through His obedience wasn't the fact that he was wealthy and powerful, it is that he got to be a part of something no man could have ever accomplished.
He was directly used by God to deliver so many from an awful famine.
I don't know about you, but in hindsight, I think two more years in prison is worth it to experience God the way that Joseph did.
So, while our circumstances seem difficult and hard to remain faithful and obedient, hold on!
God is beyond Worthy of our obedience and I never want to miss out on the blessing of seeing God do something no man could ever do.