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No one enjoys waiting. The last thing anyone wants to hear after completing a medical exam is, "We will have your results in a week." How often do we ask the Lord for direction about a major life decision, and His answer is to wait? Waiting is difficult. However, God is interested in us learning to wait. We see this in Joseph's story, and we experience it in our own stories.
Early in Joseph's story, God speaks future things to him in two dreams. After Joseph understands these dreams, God forces a passage of time on him. The events of this passage of time are remarkable. All Joseph can cling to during the difficult times he endures is the word from the Lord he received early in his faith journey. In Genesis 40:1-23, Joseph is flourishing, but he is serving an unjust term in prison. What keeps him from growing increasingly bitter? What secures his mental health during this time? From where does the strength to maintain integrity come?
Like Joseph, we too are enduring a passage of time as God teaches us to be people of faith. Like Joseph, we must cling to what God has said in the past. Jesus promised to return to reward those who have submitted to Him as Lord. But isn't it hard sometimes to fully embrace the hope of our calling as we wait on the Lord amid a wicked generation? The passions and lusts of this world continually press in on us. Crisis and trial interrupt our lives and threaten to distract us from the calm assurance that the Lord is not slack in His coming (2 Peter 3:9).
When the butler and the baker come to Joseph in prison with their dreams (Genesis 40:5-8), Joseph's response displays the amazing wisdom of God as He teaches us to wait. Joseph immediately declares to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God (40:8)?" At this moment, Joseph is forced to determine what he believes about God. God had interpreted his dreams as well, but the likelihood of that interpretation coming to fruition at this point seemed unlikely. Joseph's waiting is the vehicle that God is using to solidify faith in his heart. God's word is true. God is faithful. Joseph believes God's word in spite of his circumstances.
As we continue Joseph's story, we learn that because God made Joseph wait:
Waiting is difficult but rewarding. Learn to wait. Learn to enjoy the hardness of waiting. God desires that we know His character and understand our faith!