Our walk of faith comes with two guarantees: First, God will fulfill His promises if our faith does not fail. And secondly, we will experience some major conflicts, battles or tests to our faith, between the time of the pronouncement of God's call over our life, and the fulfillment of His plans for us.
We all rejoice in the declaration of the divine call - like Joseph. And at first, we may have been tempted, like Joseph, to run and tell all our friends and family about the 'amazing' call of God upon our lives. I pray we have a little more grace, or class than Joseph had, when telling others about our personal call of God. But either way, there is joy in receiving the Word, isn't there?
And naturally, we will all shout for joy when God fulfills His prophetic Word in our lives, sometime in the future. The difficulty we encounter, in our faith-walk, however, exists between the pronouncement and the fulfillment. Those are the moments, months or years that can bring confusion, get us into trouble, or fill our lives with excessive stress.
As you recall, God gave Joseph two amazing dreams. Indeed, that must have been a heady moment for Joseph, to see all of his family members, each represented by sheaths of grain, and the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to him. Anyone might be tempted to become overly prideful with dreams like that. Regardless of Joseph's immature reaction to the call of God, though, we know with absolute certainty, that God had BIG plans for Joseph's life.
We also know, that it didn't take long, after receiving the dreams from the Lord, that his dreams seemingly went up in smoke. Thanks in no small part to Joseph's own actions, his brothers became so enraged at him, that they threatened to kill him, then finally, sold him as a slave, bound for Egypt. In one difficult moment, everything Joseph imagined his future would be, suddenly was gone. His dreams were shattered. His destiny appeared to be over. And his best days seemed to now be behind him.
Have you ever encountered times like that in your life? Such times can be really hard to handle, can't they? We hear a great proclamation over our lives, and imagine God will fulfill His call in a mighty way, but when our dream suddenly becomes a nightmare, and God's path for us turns out to be completely different (and not for the better) - we panic, grow discouraged, or even contemplate tossing in the towel.
That brings us back to the fact, that we all love hearing the proclamation of God's amazing call in our lives. And we rejoice in the fulfillment of the divine call, at the other end of the spectrum. But it's those in-between days that about do us in. Oh yeah, those dreaded days in-between the prophetic declaration and the fulfillment that we don't always appreciate, understand, or want to accept.
In due season, we know that God did fulfill His plans and purposes in Joseph's life, just like He said He would. Though he had to endured the misery and humiliation of slavery, the heartbreak of betrayal, and the terrors of a dark and hopeless prison in Egypt, in the end, God did fulfill His promises, and He used Joseph mightily.
The in-between times are the hardest times - how are you handling them? Are they beating you up pretty good? Are you suffering times of discouragement, anger, or intense frustration during the working stages of the will of God? I know, from personal experience, that those times can be extremely tough to endure. They typically are. It's never easy walking through days of difficulty to apprehend the final victory.
The very nature of the journey, of course, is why it's called a faith walk. If it was something we could easily do, we wouldn't need faith in God to see the impossible accomplished by His supernatural power.
But be encouraged today - He who has begun a good work in you WILL complete it. God always keeps His Word - you can count on it. The time between the prophetic utterance and its fulfillment can be frustrating - but I encourage you to hold on to your faith, and don't throw in the towel.
I hope you realize, as well, that the prison house isn't of your own making - its part of the greater plan of God. And in due season - when God has all the specifics worked out - the fulfillment will come.
Remember that - Joseph had to go to the prison house, in order to ascend to the king's house. If Joseph hadn't been in the prison, he would not have been in the right place at the right time - when Pharaoh needed to hear from God, and see is perfect will accomplished for Israel, Egypt and the world.
Whether you can appreciate or receive this truth today; God has you right where He needs you to be - to fulfill His will through your life. So stand strong, be faithful, don't give in to fear, doubt or frustration. In God's timing - the day will come when you will see His promises fulfilled - if your faith does not fail. So my friends, please keep the faith!