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Monday, October 3, 2011

When God Trains You for Bigger Things

"When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned," (Genesis 39: 3, 4 NIV).

Joseph knew, early in life, that he was meant for big things, but he didn't begin life with the skills and abilities already developed.  God carried him through hard training, so that one day he could juggle the responsibilities of a nation as well as those of his own household.  Joseph started managing Potiphar's household, moved from there to managing the prison where he lived, and from there, he went on to manage all of Egypt.  The superior organizational skills he had developed probably saved countless lives during the drought the region experienced in his day, and the consequences are still being felt through the modern-day descendants of that generation.

What can we take from this?  I've been thinking about that today.  I see that the struggles we are going through in life today may be God's way of developing our "muscles" for the responsibilities we will have to shoulder in the days ahead.  Remember, God doesn't make the problems, but He is always making solutions out of our problems.  As Paul put it, "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," (Romans 8: 28 NIV 2011).

Joseph was called and raised up for a purpose--to save many lives, including those of his own family.  However, he didn't get there by himself.  He had to submit his will to God and continue to trust God, even when it got tough.  Because of his steadfast faith, God was able to equip and use him!

Similarly, many of you today may feel called for a purpose, but you may feel unable to accomplish it.  Take heart!  If you put your trust in God, He will equip you with the abilities you need.  An earthly teacher can lead us to harm, because he or she can't see what lies ahead, but God has proven Himself to be a God who gives sight to the blind, and who prepares us with the knowledge to stay out of trouble. Any student who trains with Him will grow to be like Him.  That is a good thing!
"He [Jesus] also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?  The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher." (Luke 6: 39, 40 NIV)

This isn't a passive, learning-by-osmosis equipping; you will have to apply yourself to the task of learning.  When life brings a challenge, put your trust in God and ask Him to guide you and to reveal the lesson.  Pair that with a thorough study of Scripture, because, "all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work," (2 Timothy 3: 16-17 NIV).

More than likely, God is already at work in your life, training you for bigger and grander things.  Today, learn the lessons He sends!  He is teaching you righteousness and building virtue, so that you will be ready to handle whatever life brings.