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December 30, 2013

God's Waiting Room

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams the Lord tested Joseph’s character.”

Psalm 105:19 (NLT)

Joseph is one of my favorite characters in all of the Bible. There are more chapters committed to his life than any other character in Genesis. Genesis 30 through 50 coversthe events of his life. Joseph was a dreamer, overconfident and self-assured. He was the favored by his father, more than his ten older brothers, which no doubt made him cocky.  Despite his favored position and perhaps because of it, Joseph had to suffer a number of painful hardships that God would use to shape his character and prepare him for greatness. God gave Joseph a dream, but God was more concerned with Joseph’s character than his comfort. As with so many other great men and women of the Bible and throughout history, it seems to be a pattern that they will experience hardships and setbacks that cause their dreams to fade over time. David was anointed to be the next king but would spend over a decade in obscurity hiding from Saul until God had prepared his character for the position. Moses would spend 40 years in the wilderness alone before he was ready for the job to deliver Israel from Egypt. Abraham was promised a child only to wait 25 years wondering how it could even be possible by the time Isaac was born.

When we encounter painful setbacks and hardships that seem to fly in the face of all we believe and overshadow our dreams causing us to lose hope of them ever becoming reality, we need to consider Psalm 105:19. “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” Perhaps the right question to ask is not will my dreams ever come true but in what ways is God shaping my character to prepare me for His assignment. Then yield to His hands as they mold you into the vessel that He can use. Take heart, the next verse in Psalm 105 says, “Then Pharaoh sent for (Joseph) and set him free…” Don’t give up! God always writes the last chapter!