Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
When the tables turn, what do you have a tendency to do; intact revenge or extend forgiveness? It’s in our human nature to seek revenge. We see the evil things done to us and want to return the favor. It takes a spiritually mature person to see the hand of God in the middle of hard seasons and withhold the urge for payback. Yet Joseph demonstrates that whenever those opportunities present themself, we should seek to demonstrate compassion, not cruelty.
Stepping out on faith is not for the faint at heart. It takes all the faith you can muster to call yourself into action and move on things you cannot see in the physical. The truth is if you’re seeing it in the physical, you’re late.
God takes us through seasons of refining that make absolutely no sense to us until time passes. As we’re faced with new challenges, we are able to demonstrate how much God has done in and through our lives. We walk through new trials with the wisdom of previous seasons. When you look back do you see how far God has brought you? Can you see how differently you navigate your current challenges in comparison to 1 year ago? or 5 years ago? or even 10 years ago? That’s growth! That’s maturity! If you honestly cannot see any changes, that’s an opportunity to get in God’s presence to illuminate why your maturity has stagnated because God calls for us to be refined (matured) into His image.
When God questions you, it’s to offer a different vantage point. He shows you something that you haven’t considered. Something that is to come down the road. Something that you need to be aware of. Don’t despise or disregard the question. It’s the perfect opportunity to deepen your relationship with God.
Each time we’re presented with a test is an opportunity. When we walk through tests and stumble, it is our responsibility to learn. God expects us to grow spiritually. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” In order to go from glory to glory, to be transformed into the Lord’s image, we have to mature spiritually. Each test becomes another opportunity to demonstrate how much we’ve advanced. Instead of despising each test, we should look at it as an opportunity to show how much we’ve grown and learned.
When you feel deflated walking through tough seasons of life, where do you turn? Do you seek God first or settle for a cheap substitute? I chose what I thought was the cheap and easy route. All the while knowing that my father had resources to help me. IF I had reached out to him first, I probably could have avoided the time spent going slower and shorter distances.
The tension that Joseph holds at this moment is a lesson for us. God’s timing is divine. There are seasons when God will give us dreams, visions, or other prophetic insights into what is ahead. This is to comfort, correct, or convict us for what is on the horizon. God is preparing us because there are times when we have to maintain our composure, especially in the waiting seasons. We know that God works all things for the good and we have to lean into that truth even as we wait to see spiritual things birthed into the physical. We have to stay yielded to God’s timing and not our own.
God redeems decisions made from a place of deception. Yes, Eve gets punished, because God is just. However, the sins are atoned for through her seed, Jesus Christ, and just beyond the verses that describe the discipline, “the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (v31). God provided for them. There are decisions that we’ve made out of the devil’s deception. Yes, there are consequences that we must live with as a result, but that does not stop God’s redemption, provision, and will for our lives.
There are seasons when we’re uncomfortable. All we can see are the ways that a situation can go wrong. We hesitate to move because at first glance neither situation looks like a sure thing. We’re torn by feelings of doubt and our faith feels shaky. We know that God is powerful, yet our minds can’t comprehend how the situation will come out for the good. Those are the exact moments to surrender. We have to yield to God’s will. We need to acknowledge that our soul is wavering, but our divided belief does not stop God from being who He is.