Saturday, April 07, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/ 7 /2012
The Prison Experiences Of The Bible, Lesson 47c
THE PRIVILEGES OF THIS PRISON
The problem makes the prison difficult. The provisions make them bearable. But, it is the privileges we find in the prisons of life that cause them to become places of growth and blessing
The Privilege Of God’s Plan – What kept Joseph going through the dark days of betrayal; deceit and suffering? It was the sure knowledge that God was working out a wonderful plan on Joseph’s behalf ( Gen. 37:5-11 ), where many years before God had told Joseph that he was going to come out on top. During the broken hearted days when he was betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers; Joseph was looking for that plan to be fulfilled. During the hard days when he labored for Potiphar and fought off the advances of Potiphar’s wife; Joseph was waiting for God to do what he said he would do. Then, during the years he languished in that dark, dreary prison; Joseph kept on believing and kept on waiting. He knew his God had made him a promise and that God would keep that promise.
Than the day came! They called him out of prison and brought him before Pharaoh, (Gen. 41:14). Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, (Gen 41:15-36), and was made the second ruler in the kingdom, ( Gen 41:37-43). Joseph had suffered greatly while God worked out His plan; but he remained faithful and he saw God’s plan fulfilled in his life. We may not understand this, but when God puts us through a prison experience in our lives, He has honored us. It is an honor to be counted part of God’s plan. To know that I, as insignificant and as meaningless as I am, am a part of God’s plans is an amazing truth. To think that He would take the time to develop me so that He might use me for His glory is a truth too wonderful for words. But, that is one of the things that makes His grace so amazing. He does not just save us to keep us out of Hell. He saves us to make us because we are a part of His eternal plan. He saves us because He intends to use us for His glory, (Eph. 2:10).
The fact that I am saved today tells me that I am important to God. He loves me and He has a plan for my life. So, when my path becomes difficult, it is because He is working out that plan in me and through me. My sole duty is to submit to Him.
The Privilege Of God’s Praise – Joseph is careful to give all the glory to the Lord, ( Gen 40:8; 41:16, 25). Joseph knows that God has been working in his life so that God could get glory to His name. God did the things He did in Joseph’s life so that He might develop Joseph and so that He might use Joseph to show others the greatness and glory of the God of Heaven. Pharaoh and his nation were introduced to the God of Israel, all because Joseph was submissive to the Lord. That is what the Lord is doing in our lives when He sends us into a prison experience. He is growing us, but He is also using us to bring more glory to His name. Since that is true, and since our heart’s desire ought to be for His glory, (1 Cor. 10:31), there is no greater thing that we can do in life than to submit to His will for our lives, even when we don’t understand what the Lord is doing.
The Privilege Of God’s Providence – In the end, Joseph saw every promise of the Lord fulfilled and he came to understand that all the pain he was forced to endure served to glorify God; grow Joseph and that it all worked for good in his life, (Gen. 50:20), and in the lives of others. Because of Joseph’s obedience and submission, God was able to save the nation of Egypt and the family of Joseph. Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery to get rid of him; God had orchestrated everything to save the bloodline of the Messiah, (Gen. 45:5; Psa. 105:17). In our lives, God is going to send us into some places when faith is going to have to swim and where reason cannot even wade. During those times, we are going to have to trust God. You see, when all Joseph could see was the pit, Potiphar’s house and the prison; God could see the palace!
He knows what He is doing in my life. He knows where He is taking me. He knows all about the plans He has for me. He knows what He is preparing me for in this life. I do not! Sometimes all I can see is the prison; during those times, I must trust that He sees the palace. Let me give you two great “Prison Promises”. These two verses will sustain you when all you can see is the prison.
1. Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
2. Psalm 138:8, “The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”
Conc: Many years ago, Martin Luther made this statement, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my little apple tree and pay my debts.” That simple statement says a lot about Luther. He was saying, “No matter what comes my way, I am going to do the right things and keep on serving the Lord.” You see, those who won’t serve God in the prisons of life are not fit to serve Him the palaces of life either.
Does this message find you looking at some kind of a prison experience in your life? What are you doing in that prison? Are you rebelling against it, or submitting to it? God has you there for one reason: He is using that prison as a tool of preparation for a future promotion. Has He spoken to your heart through this message? If so, then come and get before Him and deal with the word He sent to your heart today.
TODAY’S Hymn and BLESSING!
“ Standing On the Promises” By R. K. Carter (1886)
Standing on the promises of Christ my King, Through eternal ages let His praises ring, Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing, Standing on the promises of God my Savior; Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises that cannot fail, When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, By the living Word of God I shall prevail, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I now can see Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me; Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord, Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord, Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword, Standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I cannot fall, List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call, Resting in my Savior as my all in all, Standing on the promises of God.
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