Sometimes circumstances in which we find ourselves appear to be the opposite of the promises of God. The temptation is to reject the promises or in the case of the prophetic, assume we were given a false prophecy. This is when it pays to slow down and not try to figure things out on our own.
If we take the natural approach to reason, we could miss hidden treasure in our circumstances.
The obvious verse of Scripture that comes to mind is, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Question, do you know what God is doing behind the scenes?
There are some lessons we can learn from Jacob's son, Joseph. If you haven't read about him or you need to refresh your memory, read Genesis 37-50. You may find a number of lessons beside what we address here. Before we dive into those lessons, lets start with a very important premise. God is good and He is good all the time. If you don't filter your outlook on life through this truth, your perspective is already severely tainted. Understand our God is a loving and merciful Father. He is not cruel, and He does have our best interest at heart.
Do not confuse bad situations as the result of bad decisions with some sort of punishment from God.
We can be pretty darn good at shooting ourselves in the foot. Fortunately, because He is loving and merciful, full of compassion and is very kind, the Father will be with us through those times. 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. He brings to the table, wisdom for course corrections and healing for our wounds.
Joseph had two prophetic dreams which reveal that he would rule over Israel (see Genesis 37:5-10). They also revealed how God would use a famine in the process of their fulfillment (his bothers' sheaves bowing to his sheaf). What happened after Joseph wisely told his brothers the dreams? Okay, maybe it wasn't a wise move, but it was bold. There some lessons tucked in there.
One is that we can be bold as a lion when God gives us a Word.
Another lesson is there's a time to share and a time to keep silent; however, even if we speak when we shouldn't, God will still validate His Word. That also means He will make the provision for our times of foolishness. This is not to say Joseph was not suppose to tell his family; in fact, it actually helped propel him into his destiny. What he said to his brothers really stirred the pot. It helped move them to envy which in turn spurred them to sell Joseph into slavery.
Fast forward: Joseph winds up in Egypt as a slave. Even though God's favor was upon him and he was faithful in his service to his master, Potiphar, he was falsely accused of attempted rape and finds himself in prison. Does this look anything like his dreams? Hmm, probably not. Even in prison, God's hand was upon Joseph and he was promoted in that place. Joseph remained faithful, even where “he was not called to be.”
Ironically, the prison was part of the promotion process.
It was from prison where he interpreted the dreams of the butler and the baker. It was the butler who told Pharaoh about Joseph, when he needed his dreams interpreted. Even though there was a significant amount of time (two full years) between his prison ministry to the butler and his position as Pharaoh's right hand man, he was promoted. We are not told how long he had to wait to even meet the baker and the butler. In all, it took more than a day to fulfill the prophetic dreams; in fact, it took 13 years just to get to this point. Interestingly, it may seem like a long time to wait, but it is already part of recorded history which was thousands of years ago. It might be a good idea to embrace the moment we're in now, so we can be better prepared for our future.
Do you feel like you are in prison with no chance of escape? Could it be that there's a butler coming your way? Are you faithful where you are right now? If not, your “prison sentence” could be extended. It is amazing what happens if we do all things as unto the Lord. When we offer up praise and thanksgiving, instead of murmuring, we will move faster into our destiny. Question, did the baker and the butler need Joseph in order to get their dreams interpreted? Has it occurred to you that the Lord wants to use you where you are now?
We will find ministry opportunities where we are, if we are faithful.
Does this imply that you will have to stay where your are now for years to come? Not at all. Nonetheless, it would be a great idea to leave the timing up to God. Do you feel like a Joseph? Remember, God is good all the time and He is faithful!