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God is Preparing You

Genesis 50:20

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

It must have seemed pretty bad for Joseph when he was sitting in prison for something that he didn't do. We don't know how long he was in jail. It was at least two years, but it could have been as long as 13 years.

He was sent there for the punishment of a crime he did not commit. But, in reality, he was there because God wanted to promote him.

God USED a time of confinement as a time of refinement. God prepared Joseph for leadership during the most trying time in his life.

God has set us free from sin and death, but we are still living in a broken and fallen world. We are in what can feel like a prison of pain, despair, and heartache. But if we think thoughts that are proper about who God is then we will remember that He can refine us through any circumstance.

Remember the story of David defeating Goliath? Aren't you encouraged that God makes our enemies fall when you trust in Him? We forget that killing that giant awoke a new enemy for David named King Saul, the most powerful warrior on the planet at the time! Even though Saul was strong, it was God's will for David to take Saul's place as the King of Israel.

It took at least 15 years from the time David was anointed king over Israel until he ruled over the land. Those 15 years were hard years, but they were years of development. David was forced to walk through some hard places, but God used that time in his life to prepare David to sit on the throne of the land.

Anyone would have been tempted to give up hope if they found themselves in Joseph or Davids's situation.

Waiting on God to do what he told them He would do. Joseph had a dream from God, and David had a promise from God. They had to wait on the Lord for years before those dreams and promises came to pass.

You may have been given a dream or a promise from God. Don't give up on those things. Wait on God. He can still do what seems impossible.

The truth is that we don't know how or why God does what He does, we can only see the results of His marvelous work.

One day a lady named Sue had a problem with her air conditioning unit. It stopped working. She called the repair place, and they asked her what was wrong with the unit. Of course, she didn't know; she was only upset that it was getting hotter and hotter in her home.

Well, a repairman came out to the house and took everything apart. She came outside and saw everything seemed to be broken. Parts were all over the place. The repairman told her he needed to go back to the shop to get the parts he needed to fix the unit.

She had to wait for him to come back and put everything back together. He did, and the AC was blowing colder than ever before. She was thankful he repaired the unit, even though she had no clue as to what he did to make it all work together.

This is how it is in our difficult times. All we can do is make a call for help. We might not know what's wrong or how to fix it, but if we call on God, He knows what's wrong. We might have to wait on Him to get the right tools or the right parts, but we know if we trust Him, things are going to be put back together better than they were before!

There are two things that you can do to make it through these times of waiting and preparation.

The first is to call God and ask for His power. Here's an example from the Apostle Paul, who experienced firsthand what it was like to be thrown into prison unfairly:

2 Corinthians 12:8–10 (NLT)

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.

9 Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The greater our weakness and sufferings for Christ, the more grace God will give to accomplish his purposes. That grace is always sufficient for each new day so that we can accomplish what he desires for that day and endure any suffering.

Grace is God favoring us with his presence, love, help, and power.

It is a heavenly strength given to those who depend on God and call on him for help.

In our times of struggle, we need to pray for His strength. It's ok to admit you're not strong enough. When you stop trying to make things happen with your own strength, then God will be able to give you His strength to make it through the troubles you face.

The second thing you can do is rest in His peace. When we think on things of good report, we think on the reputation, character, and nature of God. We remember what He's done for other people and how He loves us and promises never to leave us or forsake us.

When God is using a difficult situation to prepare you for His promotion, you can have peace that no one else can completely understand because you know WHO God is…He has a good report with you. His reputation goes beyond your present afflictions.

Like Joseph, we say, what was meant for evil God has turned for good. We say that before we even know HOW God is going to make it turn around in our situation. That type of attitude is called faith!

You might be right in the middle of a prison-like experience. You might be begging God for relief, but it seems like none is coming. I've got to encourage you to hold on. Don't give up. God is preparing you for your next level of service. Trust in His faithfulness. He will come through for you.

Ask Him for strength in your weakness and for peace that is beyond comprehension.

He is preparing you. That thought that God is working out your situation is a thought of good report.


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