Here is a question to ponder. “Are you are a product of your circumstances or is God’s process at work in you?”
Joseph had a prophetic dream that one day he would be a ruler and his brothers would bow down to him. His father, Jacob, was so proud of this prophetic dream that he made Joseph a coat that blatantly reflected his future position. But the celebration was cut short when Joseph’s jealous and angry brothers seized an opportunity to sell Joseph to the slave traders.
The next few years for Joseph brought servitude and bondage. Until one day he was ready to assume his prophetic role as ruler. Why all the years of servitude and bondage? Because Joseph wasn’t ready to assume such a key position that would eventually save not only Egypt but also Joseph’s own family.
During those years, how many times do you think Joseph cried out to God for deliverance? How many sleepless nights did he endure trying to sleep in a damp, filthy prison cell? Why did God deny Joseph’s deliverance for so long? Because the Lord knew Joseph needed to stay where he was a while longer, at least until the refining process was complete.
God was preparing Joseph for something that required skill, humility and a disciplined work ethic. And God knew exactly what it would take to get Joseph in shape to handle such a grand task. The crowning moment for Joseph was not his rise to power and greatness as the second most powerful man in the world. But his greatness was revealed when he displayed humility and forgiveness when dealing with his brothers.
Joseph’s brokenness allowed him to see God in every circumstance of his life. His brothers were caught red handed, and deserved to be exposed and punished. But Joseph saw his brother’s betrayal as part of God’s plan to deliver a nation.
How have you handled God’s season of delays? If you are like me not very well, huh? Well, you are not alone. The same disciples that were in the upper room at the Last Supper telling Jesus how they are willing to suffer and die with Him, later denied they knew Him at all. At the cross they were hiding, not willing to stand by the cross and publicly declare their allegiance.
But there’s something about the fire of adversity that burns off the dross and presents us as pure before the Father. The heat humbles your soul and allows you to get rid of your unbelief, your impurity, and your fear. The fire of adversity produces a clearer picture of how God is at work in you.
So instead of being a product of your circumstances, allow your circumstances to be your refining fire moment that purifies your soul, and makes you a by-product of God’s Grace.
“Every person who crosses us, every person who discourages us is God’s way of breaking us. It creates a deeper channel in us for the life of Christ. The only life that pleases God is His life, never our life. Our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His. We can never be filled with His life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death. “ (Roy Hession, Calvary’s Road)