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Joseph: The Power of a Faithful Life

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Joseph

The Power of a Faithful Life

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Joseph: The Power of a Faithful Life

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Joseph's example of faith is one that we should seek to emulate.

Sermon Notes

Genesis 39:7-23 Genesis 39:7-23 [7] And it came to pass after these things, that his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. [8] But he refused, and said to his master's wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand; [9] There is none greater in this house than I; neither has he kept back any thing from me but you, because you are his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? [10] And it came to pass, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he listened not to her, to lie by her, or to be with her. [11] And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. [12] And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. [13] And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, [14] That she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, See, he has brought in an Hebrew to us to mock us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: [15] And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. [16] And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. [17] And she spoke to him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me: [18] And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. [19] And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, After this manner did your servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. [20] And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. [21] But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. [22] And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatever they did there, he was the doer of it. [23] The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
American King James Version×
  THE POWER OF A FAITHFUL LIFE

Intro: A young man applied for a job as a farmhand.  When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”  This puzzled the farmer but he liked the young man, and hired him.  A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm.  

 

They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure.   They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened.   A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace.   The young man slept soundly.   The farmer and his wife then inspected their property.  They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements.  The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn was properly locked, even the animals were calm.  All was well.  The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man's words, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”  Because the farmhand did his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke.  So when the wind blew, he was not afraid - He could sleep in peace. 

 

     The story about the young farmhand illustrates a principle that we would do well to learn.  There was nothing dramatic or sensational in the young farmhand's preparations.  He just faithfully did what was needed each day.  Consequently, peace was his, even in a storm.  A short poem expresses this principle as it pertains to your life. 

It isn't the things you do,

It's the things you leave undone,

Which gives you a bit of heartache,

At the setting of the sun.

 

     When the sun sat each day on Joseph’s life, he could rest easy, because he has been faithful.  When he was home with his father Jacob, he had been a faithful son.  When he minded his father’s flocks, he had been a faithful worker.  When he was sold to Potiphar, he proved to be a faithful servant.  Because he had been faithful, the Lord blessed everything he did. 

 

     In this passage, we are allowed to see the faithfulness of Joseph very clearly.  He remains faithful to His God, and to himself, in the face of some problems that would cause many others to fail. 

 

     Of course, there is a word here for our lives today.  As we pass through this life many situations will arise that have the potential to throw us off course.  The world, the flesh and the devil will all conspire to get us to quit on God.  They will do everything in their power to cause us to drop out or to fall far short of our potential. 

 

     God wants us to be faithful.  He wants us to stay the course and run the race for His glory until He sends His Son.  Joseph teaches us how to be faithful in spite of what we may face in this life.  I want to preach on The Power Of A Faithful Life and show you the areas in which Joseph was faithful to the Lord.  God expects no less from you and me! Let’s not disappoint Him. 

 

FAITHFUL IN SPITE  OF TEMPTATIONS

The Context - Genesis 39:1 Genesis 39:1And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
American King James Version×
–12
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. 5 So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field

Joseph was a good looking young man, Vs 6Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.”  Not that I would know, but beauty must bring with it its own set of problems.

 

As Joseph ministered in Potiphar’s house, he caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife.  She began to flirt with him, Vs 7And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” 8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”.  After a short time she became downright brazen in her approach, asking Joseph to “lie” with her.  He refused her advances, but she persisted. 

Vs 10 “So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. 11 But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, 12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.”  She grabbed him by his outer garments and said “Lie with me”, Vs 11-12 Joseph left his garment in her hand and ran away.  In this “trial by fire” Joseph remained absolutely faithful to the Lord.

There are several features of this temptation that would have made it very attractive to any young man.

It was a temptation to fulfill a natural desire – The offer from Potiphar’s wife was for sex, pure and simple.  God made us sexual creatures and many people believe they have the right to satisfy their sexual desires in any fashion they choose. 

 

God has a different opinion.  Any sexual expression that takes place outside the boundaries of the marriage relationship is either fornication or adultery.  Either one is a sin against God, your spouse or your future spouse and yourself.

 

1 Corinthians 6:18 1 Corinthians 6:18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
American King James Version×
–20 “
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 

 

Joseph’s response to Potiphar’s wife was a response we should all adopt when it comes to dealing with sexual sin, Vs 12 “that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.”  

 

2 Timothy 2:22 2 Timothy 2:22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
American King James Version×
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

Joseph was a long way from home in a strange land – Some people might have adopted the motto: “When in Rome, do as the Romans”.  A lot of people live like that.  A salesman will do things on the road that he would not do at home.  A young person will do things at a party they will not do at home.  Joseph did not care where he was, he was determined to do the right thing.

He refused to violate the trust of his master and of his God.  Chances are his family would have never known.  Potiphar might have never known.  But, Joseph knew that God in Heaven would know – And that knowledge was enough to keep him pure. 

Proverbs 15:3 Proverbs 15:3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
American King James Version×
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

Hebrews 4:13 Hebrews 4:13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
American King James Version×
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

Mrs.  Potiphar was surely a beautiful woman – Egyptian women were renowned in that day for their physical beauty.  Potiphar was very wealthy and down through history generally wealth marries beauty.  Surely she would have appealed to the male urges in Joseph.  Nowhere in this text does it say that he was repulsed by her appearance.  Nowhere does it suggest that she was an unattractive woman. 

However, Joseph was interested in more than simply gratifying his flesh.  He was determined to be faithful to God regardless of the personal cost.  It was a decision he made long before he arrived in Egypt, and it was a decision he was determined to stand by.

Joseph had conviction and he had drawn himself some boundaries that no matter what he would not cross those boundaries.  We need to do the same thing.  Then, when times of temptation come our way, there is no choice in the matter; we have already decided what we will do!

This temptation came on the heels of a big promotion – A lot of people would assume that they had arrived and they feel like they should reward themselves.  After all, Joseph had the Midas touch.  He had the favor of Potiphar.  He was the king of the roost at the big house.  He did as he pleased.  Some people might have concluded, “I can do no wrong.  I might as well enjoy the fruits of my labors.”  But not Joseph!

It would do us well to remember that we are never more vulnerable to temptation than when we have just enjoyed a great victory.   When we have been part of a great victory, we seem to feel invincible, like we can do anything.   In those moments, temptation and failure are more real than ever.

1 Corinthians 10:12 1 Corinthians 10:12Why let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
American King James Version×
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

It came at the perfect time and opportunity – Potiphar’s wife caught Joseph when there was no physical reason why they should not and could not commit adultery.  No one else was around, they were by themselves.  The only thing that stopped them was Joseph’s integrity.  He stood his ground, determined to do what was right regardless of the cost.

We need to remember that our enemy is a master of staging and setting things up.  He will put us in just the right places at just the right times.  He will make sin look so innocent and easy and so appealing.  He will make it seem that we are fool to refuse him.  I would remind you that “all of Satan’s apples have worms”.  I would also remind you that the opportunities he gives you to sin will lead to disappoint, disillusionment, discouragement and ultimately death.

Proverbs 13:15 Proverbs 13:15Good understanding gives favor: but the way of transgressors is hard.
American King James Version×
Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the unfaithful is hard.”  People’s lives that are unfaithful are hard and difficult.  Nothing ever seems to work out.  Nothing seems to prosper.   Life is a constant uphill battle for them. 

Let me make a statement or two about this matter of temptation. 

1.   Temptation is never from God - James 1:13 James 1:13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:
American King James Version×
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.”

2.   Temptation is always from within - James 1:14 James 1:14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
American King James Version×
–15
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

3.   There is always a way out of Temptation1 Corinthians 10:13 1 Corinthians 10:13There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
American King James Version×
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”  Three interesting words in this passage:

1) “what you are able”  First word is ABLE.  Thayer Definition: to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.  To be able to do something.  To be capable, strong and powerful. 

 

2) “way of escape”  2nd word is ESCAPE.  Ekbasis  Thayer Definition:  1) an egress, way out, exit or to end.  1a) applied figuratively to the way of escape from temptation 2) the issue referring to the end of one’s life 2a) Heb_13:7 refers not only to end of physical life, but the manner in which they closed a well spent life as exhibited by their spirit in dying.

 

3) “that you may be able to bear it”.  3rd word of interest is bear.  hupopherō   Thayer Definition:  1) to bear by being under, bear up (a thing placed on one’s shoulders) 2) to bear patiently, to endure

 

How does God help you and make a way of escape? 

a.   Deal with it Immediately – Nip it in the bud! (Flee Fornication)

b.  Deal with it Realistically - Get away from it at all costs.(Don’t tempt yourself into sin)

c.   Deal with it Ruthlessly – Do whatever it takes to avoid it.

d.   Deal with it Consistently - Learn to be consistent in your resistance.   

e.   Deal with it Confidently - We have the Lord’s great promise in 1 Cor.  10:13.   God will make a way of escape, just be sure you look for it! (The word “escape” means “egress, or way out”.  It was used in ancient Greece to refer to a landing place for a ship.  God will give us a way of the rough sea of temptation.  Those temptations that we cannot escape He will enable us to “bear” them.  God’s promise to us is that while temptations will come our way He will enable us to land safely on the other side.)

 

The main reason Joseph was able to remain faithful in the day of salvation was because he saw sin for what it really was.  He did not see it as a few moments of pleasure.  He did not see it as his right.  He did not see it as even an option.  Joseph saw sin as an affront to Almighty God as we saw in Vs 9.

 

If you want to successfully navigate the troubled waters of temptation, then learn to see sin for what it really is.  It is not a mistake it is wickedness.  It is not an affair, it is adultery.  It is not an alternate lifestyle, it is an abomination.  It is not a slip of the tongue, it is blasphemy.  It is not an abortion, it is murder!  Sin is a shame in any life; that is especially true when it is in the life of a Christian!

 

Joseph was faithful in spite of temptations.  I don’t know about you, but I want to finish well! I would like to be able to say what Paul said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,” 2 Timothy 4:7 2 Timothy 4:7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
American King James Version×
.

 

 II.   Genesis 39:13-19 Genesis 39:13-19 [13] And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, [14] That she called to the men of her house, and spoke to them, saying, See, he has brought in an Hebrew to us to mock us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice: [15] And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. [16] And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home. [17] And she spoke to him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which you have brought to us, came in to me to mock me: [18] And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out. [19] And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, After this manner did your servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.
American King James Version×
  FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF TRIALS

The ContextGenesis 39:13 Genesis 39:13And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,
American King James Version×
–19
And so it was, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and fled outside, 14 that she called to the men of her house and spoke to them, saying, “See, he has brought in to us a Hebrew to mock us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And it happened, when he heard that I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me, and fled and went outside.” 16 So she kept his garment with her until his master came home. 17 Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, “The Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock me; 18 so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he left his garment with me and fled outside.” 19 So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused.” 

Someone once said that “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.  Mrs.  Potiphar has been scorned and she sets her trap.  When Joseph runs out, I can see her as she rumples her hair, smudges her makeup and tears her cloths.  She starts to scream and cry.  The other servants come running to see what is going on.  She tells them that Joseph tried to rape her. 

 

She holds on to the garment and when her husband arrives home, she springs the trap.  In essence, she blames Potiphar for the problem: vs 17.  She says, “If you hadn’t brought this slave home, none of this would have happened.  Look what you have allowed to happen in our home.” 

 

Potiphar hears the accusations against Joseph and he becomes angry.  I have wondered who he was really mad at.  Was he mad at Joseph because he believed her story?  Was he mad at her because he knew the lust that was in her heart?  Was he mad at himself because he didn’t have the courage to stand up against a domineering wife?  Or was he mad because he was thinking of all the money he was going to lose:  Vs 5 So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field.”

 

Surely, Potiphar could see the inconsistencies in her story.  For instance, why would Joseph have left the incriminating garment when he fled?  Hadn’t Joseph proven himself to be a faithful servant who was above reproach year after year?  If Potiphar believed his wife, he allowed his anger to get in the way of his making a clear decision. 

 

At any rate, the story ends the same.  Psalms 105:17 Psalms 105:17He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
American King James Version×
–20
He sent a man before them— Joseph—who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him. 20 The king sent and released him, The ruler of the people let him go free”.   

Psalm 105:17-19 tell us something about the pain Joseph endured when he was first thrown into that prison.

 

Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes for a moment.  You have been a faithful servant to your master.  You have successfully avoided committing adultery with his wife even though she has practically thrown herself at you every day.  You have been falsely accused.  What do you do? 

 

Most of us would have launched a loud and long defense.  We would have declared our innocence and we would have vowed to take our revenge when the opportunity presented itself. 

 

Not Joseph!  In fact, there is no record of him even opening his mouth.  In this respect, Joseph is once again just like Jesus.  Isaiah 53:7 Isaiah 53:7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
American King James Version×
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.”  He took the trial that came his way and he endured it with grace and faithfulness. 

I am not saying that we should never defend our name and reputation when it is slandered.  What I am talking about is the fact that trials are going to come along in this life.  There will be times when you will be attacked, misunderstood and misrepresented.   When those times come remember that God knows the truth and eventually that truth will come out!

You and I must learn to be faithful even during the trials of life.  When everything goes against us and the full weight of life comes crashing down on top of us, we must always remain faithful to the Lord Who loved us, bought us and saved us. 

In other words, don’t get mad at someone and try to quit.  Don’t let the hardships and valleys of life throw you off course.  Don’t get upset when things do not go your way all the time.  When people lie about you and talk about you, do not proven them right.  Prove them wrong by remaining faithful to the Lord! Nothing silences the tongue of a critic any quicker than a faithful life.  Just live so well that no one will believe what the lying liars say about you anyway. 

Trust God and stay the course, He is looking for faithful servants.   He is looking for people who will be the same regardless of which way the wind is blowing.  James 1:6 James 1:6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
American King James Version×
–8
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

I don’t know about you, but I want to be found faithful!  He’s been faithful to me and I want to be faithful to Him!

 

III.   FAITHFUL IN SPITE OF TRAGEDIES

 

Genesis 39:20 Genesis 39:20And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
American King James Version×
–23 “
Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”

 

Joseph is back in the pit once again.  This time he is not in a pit of earth, he is in a prison.  Surely he felt like his star was on the rise, now, it looks like those dreams will never be fulfilled.  Many people would have given us and quit had they found themselves in the same situation but not Joseph! 

 

He just did in the prison what he had done at Potipher’s house and what he had done at Jacob’s house and what he had done all of his life.  He remained faithful in spite of everything life threw at him. 

 

He did his job there in that prison and he did it so well that soon he was running the place.  The jailer trusted Joseph to do the right thing and he turned the day to day operation of the place over to him. 

 

How was this possible? Verse 21 says “The Lord was with Joseph.”  That verse also says that God “shewed him mercy”.  Verse 23 tells us again that “the Lord was with him”.  It also says “and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper”. 

 

You see, Joseph was faithful to the Lord regardless of where he was; and regardless of where he was, the Lord was faithful to Joseph. 

 

There are going to be times when the bottom will fall out of your life.  That is the clear teaching of the Word of God: Job 14:1 Job 14:1Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
American King James Version×
; 5:7; John 16:33 John 16:33These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
American King James Version×
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

When that happens there will be the temptation to give up and quit on God.  The flesh will say, “What’s the use?  I’ve been faithful still trouble came.  I might as well give up.” Satan will tell you that you should just quit on God.  Even some of the people around you will tell you that serving the Lord has gotten you nowhere, but into trouble. 

I want to tell that the world around you, your own flesh and the devil are all liars and deceivers!  They will do their best to get you to drop out of this thing.  God wants us to remain faithful in spite of whatever we may face in this life.  God knows what He is doing and He is working out a perfect, eternal plan. 

Romans 8:28 Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
American King James Version×
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”   

Psalms 37:23 Psalms 37:23The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.
American King James Version×
–26
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.”

You can trust Him to do right by you.  2 Corinthians 4:16 2 Corinthians 4:16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
American King James Version×
–18 “
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  

Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, said the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
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–13
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

God blessed Joseph and he used him in his prison because Joseph remained faithful.  If you and I will stand by the Lord and be the people He saved us to be, we can count on Him using us as well.  I have seen people in the valley of depression be used of the Lord.  I have seen people held in the grip of terminal illness be used of the Lord.  I have seen people who didn’t have a dime to their name and still God used them.  If you will be faithful where He puts you, He will use you there for His glory!

The greatest thing that can ever be said about you and me, as far as our walk with the Lord is concerned, is that we were faithful.  I want to be found faithful.  How about you?  I want to be faithful to my family.   I want to be faithful to my wife.  I want to be faithful to my call.  I want to be faithful to my Lord.  I want to be faithful to the church.  I want to be faithful to the pulpit.   I want to be faithful to the One Who has never been unfaithful to me!

Dear friends, just keep living for God even when it doesn’t seem to be paying off.  Just keep praying when the answers aren’t coming.  Keep going to church when it seems as dry as dust.   Keep praising Him even if you have to do it through your tears.  If you will stay faithful in the prisons of life, God will get glory from your life and He will bless you in ways you could never have imagined. 

Psalms 73:12 Psalms 73:12Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
American King James Version×
–20 “
Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches. 13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all day long I have been plagued, And chastened every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. 16 When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me— 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. 18 Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. 19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.” 

Conc: 2,000 years ago a woman named Mary bowed at the feet of Jesus.   She broke a box of ointment that was worth a year’s pay and she poured it out on the head of the Lord Jesus.  Some of the people there complained about what she was doing, but Jesus said, “Let her alone…she hath done what she could”.  In other words, Mary was faithful to the Lord and He recognized her faithfulness.  He honored her because she honored Him by being in her place and doing all she could do. 

 

If the Lord were to look at your life today, would He be able to say “You have done what you could”? Could He declare us to be faithful servants unto Him? Are you as faithful to the Lord as you could be? Or is there room for improvement?” 

 

Joseph was faithful.  God is faithful.  I know you want to be found faithful too.  If God is dealing with you on any level, you need to be faithful to Him and love Him with all of your soul, heart and mind.