Tuesday, March 19, 2013

God’s Appointed Time

Have you been tested in your character lately; dodging all the fiery darts the enemy throws your way? Does it seem like your hopes and dreams have been kicked to the curb and it’s left you speechless?

It's been my experience that when The Lord tests my character, it usually means change is on its way and the Holy Spirit is preparing me for what's up ahead. Doesn't mean it's going to be a bad change; but maybe one that will test my character in hopes of weeding out the parts of my will that interfere with God's perfect will for my life. So many times I tend to look at the road up ahead; speculating on my hopes & dreams coming to pass; only to find God has a different direction all together. And if I’m not spiritually prepared, the change will shake the very core of my character deep within me; leaving me feeling abandoned by God & confused as I try to figure out where I went wrong.

In the bible, we hear about great men of God that had their character tested time & time again; yet remained faithful to the Lord regardless of their present circumstance.  Joseph was one of those men. In Psalms 105:19 NLT, we are told, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character."

Think about it!  Here is a man that clearly loved The Lord, yet what he experienced until his appointed time, most of us could never fathom, let alone endure.

From the time Joseph was young, God placed dreams in his heart: dreams that would bring him down a road that would try his character relentlessly.   Out of jealously, his own brothers threw him into a pit; left him to die but eventually decided to spare his life and sell him as slave to the Ishmaelites (Midianite traders). The Midianites eventually sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Genesis 37:36 NLT

But as time went on, the Lord revealed Joseph’s character to Potiphar and he was placed in charge of Potiphar’s household and all that he owned.  But again, Joseph’s character would be tested as Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of rape that would cause him to be condemned and thrown into prison.  Yet, even then, God shined His favor on Joseph and the prison warden put him in charge of all the other prisoners.  Eventually, Potiphar had his chief cup-bearer and chief baker thrown into prison too.  While these two men were in there, they both had dreams that Joseph interpreted; dreams that soon came to pass.  The chief cup-bearer regained his freedom and position as chief cup-bearer to Potiphar and the chief baker was impaled on a pole and left as food for the birds; just as their dreams had warned them.

And still Joseph remained in prison for two more years before he would be asked to interpret a dream for Potiphar.  Once again, the Lord shined His favor on Joseph and Potiphar made him governor over all of Egypt. 

No doubt these trials Joseph faced weren’t fun and most likely the roads he ended up on were not the ones he anticipated when the Lord gave him those dreams at such a young age.  Yet he remained faithful to the Lord, regardless of his circumstance. During this time, Joseph’s character and faith in the Lord were both being tested and strengthened. It wasn’t until God’s appointed time that He allowed Joseph’s dreams to be fulfilled.

Maybe you’ve found yourself on the road to disappointment and discouragement lately. Be encouraged! God has not forgotten you. 

In His appointed time, the dreams He has given you will come to pass.

Be blessed my family & friends. I pray you walk in the Lord’s total favor!
Love you all,

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

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