Character training

Why does the Lord leave salvation to the last minute? It seems we live in frustration. Then suddenly all is turned around. What we don’t appreciate is that the time of frustration is valuable.

 Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. (Psa 105v19 NLT)

The Lord had his plans, but the plan for Joseph seemed to have failed; he had received dreams of glory that now looked impossible because-

Joseph, who was sold as a slave. (v17)

Joseph responded not by giving up in depression but by serving wholeheartedly. He did not know it, but in doing this he was being trained by God in character. This continued right up until Joseph was taken directly, with no warning, no space for preparation, from prison to the throne room.

Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. (v20-21)

The Lord was going to fulfil his promise, but how would Joseph respond to training? He could have lived in the past, lived in bitterness, decided to just do the minimum, … Such failures would have compromised many of the Lord’s intentions for the future.

The challenge for us is to embrace the circumstances God has put us in and serve in love. We learn character and dependence on his grace through serving wholeheartedly, especially when it is unrelated to God’s declared purpose.

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