The Uniqueness of Joseph’s Patient Faith
When we think of patient faith in the Bible three people come to mind. They are Noah, Abraham and Joseph. Noah was 500 years old when he’s first mentioned in Genesis 5:32. He was 600 when he entered the ark Genesis 7:6. Abraham was 75 when God promised him a son Genesis 11:28. He was 100 when Isaac was born Genesis 21:5. Joseph was 17 years old when he was sold as a slave. He was 30 when Pharaoh made him his second in command in Egypt. In terms of years Noah and Abraham waited longer for God to work. In terms of having patient faith in the face of adversity, Joseph is the model.
I’ve been a pastor for many years and have heard many reasons why people have given up on God. The most frequent reasons relate to people. Some are ticked off because of what a pastor or someone else in church said or didn’t say and decide to give up on God. Sometimes people give up on God because of poor treatment by others. Then there are those who give up on God because something bad or unfair happened to them and they blame God.
Joseph had all those reasons and more to give up on God but he didn’t. Instead what we see is a patient faith in the face of adversity. Let’s look more closely at four aspects of Joseph’s patient faith.
Four Aspects Of Joseph’s Patient Faith
- It takes time to have patient faith. It means to wait.
– Joseph was seventeen when he was sold as a slave Genesis 37:2-28.
– He was thirty when he became second-in-command to Pharaoh Genesis 41:46.
- It takes trust to have patient faith. It means to believe.
– Joseph believed immorality was wrong and would be a sin against God Genesis 39:8-9.
– He believed God gave him the ability to interpret dreams Genesis 40:8; 41:16.
– He believed God controlled his negative circumstances Genesis 50:19.
– He believed God would keep His promise and return the Jews to the promised land Genesis 50:25.
- It takes tolerance. It means to withstand adversity.
– Joseph withstood the cruelty of being sold as a slave Genesis 27:26-28.
– He withstood the temptations from Potiphar’s wife Genesis 39:7-12.
– He withstood being falsely accused and imprisoned Genesis 39:19-21.
– He withstood being forgotten by one who could have freed him Genesis 40:23.
- It takes transformation. It means to grow. One doesn’t simply grow because time passes by. It requires change.
– Joseph was a shepherd when he was sold as a slave.
– He patiently learned to run a household.
– He later learned to run a prison.
– God equipped him to run a country.
What was it that carried Joseph from the dark days of being in a pit to being elevated at the palace? It was the patient faith based on confidence in God.
When you know God, you know there is no one else to trust. Have you given up on God? May I encourage you to rethink your options? Yes, we all go through rough times but God always comes through!
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