Faith comes when you are in agony.
Like Joseph, you may feel your soul “has gone into the iron” shackles. He was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. Like Joseph, we all too often find ourselves disparaging of life itself. In my life I have battled depression, anxiety, impulsiveness and often giving into the cravings of the flesh, coveting eyes, and the pride of life. Do you find this in your life? Be honest with yourself.
He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
Psalm 105:17-19 (KJV)
The devil used Mrs. Potiphar as a seductive tool. She does her best to seduce Joseph and like most men, was probably tempted. Joseph refused. Do you know what the consequence of obeying God rather than yielding to the flesh of a beautiful person? Great honor and high esteem. Between the evil of the Mrs. Potiphar and the high position in Pharoah’s empire, is a period of suffering, torment and pain. I want you to understand this. The suffering you are going through is temporary. God has a grand future planned for you. Has your spouse been unfaithful? Having marital problems? Are you arguing over finances? Is someone in your family sick with Corona? Aiding someone who fights a terminal illness? It’s as if your feet have been shackled in Satan’s torture room sometimes, right? Jacob’s soul grew stronger as the days went by. He trusted God has something bigger in mind. He escaped sin and he survived prison. God takes the lasciviousness of Mrs. Potiphar and uses Joseph’s resilience to mold him into a better man. (See Genesis 39) He does that with your neighbor who entices you too. He is sovereign – that’s what makes Him God. We are no longer Satan’s minions because we have put on Christ. We do not give in to the temptations common to all people who suffer. At the fork in the road, we choose the best, yet least traveled path.
If you are anything like me, you do not always and at all times feel God is close by. But, He is actually closer to us when we are disparaged than when all is swell. The Lord of Hosts is listening. He cares when we are afflicted with any troublesome time. Who can deny the Holy Spirit doesn’t comfort when Jesus explicitly tells us He is the Comforter? Friend if you are in Christ and genuinely trust and yield to live with Him, bigger opportunities are ahead of you. When I was eight years of age, people were telling me that I could do anything I wanted to, when I grew up. They taught me that nothing was impossible. I don’t know that I can do anything because I have fallen short so often. I do know that in Jesus Christ is always a blessing. He is our success. Living to glorify our Savior, no matter our shackled pain holding us back, we push through our day without motivation to do the things we don’t want to do and appreciating the freedom to do we are able to carry out regardless of our taxed flesh and bones. Instead of the negatives lets run the race with our every step through the pains of this temporal life. Be passionate with zeal.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
John 14:15-17 (KJV)
We choose to love God even when our emotions are wrecked. Why? God is not the author of an imperfect world environment. Right? When God creates the world in Genesis chapter one, the world imperfect. Once the sly serpent beguiled Eve and Adam, they were force out of the garden. We suffer harm for these reasons: the hands of the Adversarial devil, the sins of others, our own sins, or the natural ways good and bad happen to all people.
God chooses to allow us to suffer to refine us. Always believe Father God has our best interest in mind. He sees the bigger picture from high up. Be careful when you pray to be like Jesus. His earthly life is famished, deserted, mocked at, judged, and murdered for crimes He did not commit. We sing a song entitled “O To Be Like Thee Blessed Redeemed.” If we mean what we sing, expect an attack from the Devil somewhere, some time. We’re going to suffer.
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
James 5:10-11 (ESV)
You probably expect me to bring up Job. I could point out different examples of God’s people standing for God under the shackles of the same suffering you and I experience. In Job’s case, the true culprit of all Job’s troubles is Satan. Thousands of years later, nothing has changed about suffering. Satan is instrumental behind it all, not God. God tempts no one (James 1:13). I pose a simple question. Is God Almighty or is Satan almighty? Some say, whether aware of doing so or not, the sly Devil, is stronger because he is the prince of evil in this world. I agree with the Bible; Satan was defeated at the cross. Thus, God alone is all-powerful. What this means for you and me is that we do not have to be stressed, and riddled with depression during dark days. The reality of life is in Christ. The rest of this life is temporal. We are survivors because we have grass in the middle of the desert of sorrow and sin. I refer to Psalms 23, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” When the Israelite wandered forty years in the desert wilderness, God fed and watered them. He is the- oasis in the desert of sorrow and sin. Wandering through the turmoil bringing faintness and frustration is a time to draw near to the nutrition God may offer. If you look back in your life, you will see the Lord has always been somewhere watching and listening, in the background to supply our needs.
You know Jesus. You know He, the Spirit, and the Father – all the Divine Nature, are with you to give comfort. We need not bother with how He works. Eased in heart, soul and mind while our outward person is perishing day by day, our inward man is growing stronger than iron. God will break us free from the shackles of suffering and give us spirits of iron. Trust in God who is close, nearby and watching over the most important part of your existence. Although you cannot see Him, He is still there.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
To God be the glory of a victorious life!
~ Donny Weimar
13 November 2020
Scripture for further study – Genesis 39; Psalm 105:17-18; John 16; 2 Corinthians 1:3; James 5; Job 1; James 1:13; James 5; Philippians 4.