Mar6SunStory of faithfulness March 6, 2022
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Th. 5:23–24 ESV
“Before the year of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore them to him. Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”” Gen. 41:50–52 ESVi)
Joseph is one of the most amazing people of the bible. I see his story and I’m blown away that a man can be so steadfast and faithful to God despite everything that he went through. I mean, here was a boy with a dream: you are going to be a Ruler and your brothers are going to serve you. Well, this dream caused jealousy in his brothers and they end up selling Joseph as a slave. That’s not enough, he ends up working for Potiphar, whose wife basically tries to seduce Joseph into sin. When he resists and flees sexual immorality, (like the Bible says we are to do), he gets thrown into a dungeon. Yet, even through all this, we see the favor of God on Joseph’s life. It didn’t matter where he was placed, Joseph ended up being put in charge. “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.” Gen. 39:21–23 ESVi)
The story goes on. One day both the Kings’ cupbearer and baker end up in prison alongside Joseph and one night each had a dream. They come to Joseph asking for interpretation. Now if I’m Joseph, I’m probably going, well, 10 years ago I too had a dream and a vision from God and it still hasn’t come to pass, so whatever, I don’t know about dreams coming true. But not Joseph! He declares the faithfulness of God and interprets the dreams. These do come true in short order, and both the butcher and the cupbearer get released from prison. Do they think about and remember Joseph though? Nope. In fact it would take another 2 years before Joseph would be called to come before Pharaoh, once again to interpret a dream.
I recently went through this story again and a thought struck my heart. Look how Joseph acted, especially in light of his own predicament. Look at how faithful he was in prison, even to interpret someone else’s dream when his hadn’t been fulfilled. Am I faithful to proclaim the goodness and faithfulness of God when I’m still waiting on God to fulfill my promises? Can I declare, “God is faithful and keeps His word, so keep believing!” Am I happy when I see others being blessed with the fulfillment of their dreams and visions? Do I rejoice or do I ask, “God, why not me?” How about when life doesn’t go my way and I find myself in difficulties? How’s my attitude?
Look at Joseph. I can’t say that I have endured what Joseph endured. I can’t say that I have been treated so unfairly. What is it that kept Joseph so sure that God would come through for him? What was it that he held on to? In the turmoil, in the darkness of the dungeons, in all times when Joseph does what is right and is rewarded with injustice, what is it that kept him faithful? I mean, he waited 13 years before he become second in command in Egypt, but it took 22 years till the dream he had at 17 was fulfilled. That’s quite a wait! What was his secret? I believe that like many other Old Testament believers, Joseph judged God to be faithful. Simple but profound. He simply took God at His word and believed that if the promise was given, it was also going to come to pass. That is amazing faith! Joseph said yes to God, gave God his entire life and heart and in the end, the reward was great. And yes, like we all know, his dreams did come true in magnificent and glorious ways.
He judged God to be faithful. What does that mean? I’ve always thought faithfulness to mean being true to that which you believe in. Not wavering in doubt but having a steadfastness, and being sure of what you hope for. But it goes deeper than this. God is faithful or you could say...God is full of faith. That is huge to me. It’s an eye opening revelation. For me it means, that on my lowest point, when I’m overwhelmed, at the weakest moment..God is full of faith. Full of faith inside of me, full of faith for me. When I’m feeling completely at a loss, or when it seems that I’m running empty on faith, God is still full of faith. My tank might be running low, but praise God, His tank is always always full. It never runs out. That is why I can judge God to be faithful. His faith is never ending and He doesn’t change. That is an anchor that will never let me down. It’s amazing that I can say I have faith living inside of me. And it’s not because I am continually faithful but only because I’m living with Him and He is dwelling richly within me. Great is His faithfulness to me and in me!
Another attribute of Joseph, he knew the secret of waiting. His patience muscle was strong and truly well built. As I read the story of Joseph I feel the Spirit asking me: How long are you willing to wait? And more importantly what are you willing to do AS you wait? Will the time in between the promise given to the promise fulfilled, will it refine you or will it prove to be too much? Don’t quit! Remember that first, He who promises you is faithful and second, if you do find yourself tempted to quit, no temptation has befallen man where God hasn’t already provided a way of escape. Third, Jesus prays you, that your faith will not fail. Jesus prayed this for Peter. And aren’t we all Peter, at one point or another?
Most important is this little word wait. Do you know what it means in the Hebrew? One of its meanings is to twirl, dance, be entwined with. Waiting doesn’t mean sitting on your hands, it means to entwine yourself with God to the point where His thoughts are your thoughts, and your actions are reflective of His. Dance with Him. Twirling around and around until you know that His faithfulness never ends.
Wait upon the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Again, I say, wait upon the Lord! And continue to bless the Lord in the middle of the mundane, praise Him in the midst of the storm, thank Him for His faithfulness. He is full of faith and He is your provider. He is. He’s proven it time after time. Faithful to His promise. Full of faith every time, all the time.
“Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word];” Hebrews 10:23 AMP
“if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Tim. 2:13 ESV
Lord, show us the areas in our lives where we are not judging You to be faithful. Reveal to our hearts Your faithfulness and your unwavering love towards us. Heal our unbelief!In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.