Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
The path to maturity is never easy. It always includes stretching and suffering. But it is always worthwhile. We may not appreciate that until it is over but then we are thankful for how God has worked in our life. That certainly was true of Joseph, the Old Testament patriarch.
We first see Joseph tattling on his older brothers. Then he shares with them how God is going to elevate him over them and how they will one day bow down to him. So they take the first opportunity that comes their way to get rid of him and make a little profit for themselves. They sell him to slave traders. I can’t imagine how Joseph must have felt about God’s role in allowing it. God did provide a good master to serve and blessed Joseph’s work, but then he was falsely accused of being involved with his master’s wife and put in prison. Again God prospered his work, but I’m sure Joseph would have rather had God keep him out of these situations to begin with. Nevertheless, God did use them in a special way to bring Joseph’s family into Egypt so they would not die in the famine and also so they would not intermarry with the unbelievers around them but grow into a mighty nation for God.
How have you seen God work in your life in the past? As you look back can you see events and circumstances that were painful but that matured you and brought you closer to God? What about what is happening now, could God be doing the same thing through the present situation in your life? If so, how should you be facing it now in order to learn what God has for you – and in the quickest time possible?
James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Matt 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Luke 6:22, “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.”
- Thank God for the times He has bailed you out and protected you from the harm others meant for you.
- Thank Him for the times He did this and you don’t even realize He did it.
- Thank Him, too, for the times he let you go through suffering unfairly because He had a greater plan and purpose for you in it.
- If you are going through something now that isn’t fair, how can the lessons from Joseph’s life help you?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on November 9, 2008