“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.”
Psalms 105:19 NLT
Have you ever wondered, “What’s taking so long?” You know that God spoke to you. You know that you’re on the right road but you keep running into delay after delay. Thank God that a delay is not a denial.
Sometimes when God is fulfilling our dreams he subsequently has to test our character. He can’t release what we are not ready to handle. God has to test our character.
God spoke to Joseph when he was just a teenager. He told him that his family would one day bow down to him. Joseph saw this in a dream and messed up by telling his brothers too soon.
Joseph had the right dream but shared it with the wrong people at the wrong time. God put Joseph through a series of tests to strengthen his character. We too go through similar tests.
- The test of betrayal. His own brothers betrayed him out of jealousy. They even thought about killing him but settled for selling their little brother into slavery. This is enough to make a young person give up. Betrayal is just a test to see if you can out live the jealousy and betrayal of people close to you.
- The test of stewardship. Joseph was sold as a slave to a man named Potiphar. Joseph had so much skill and integrity that Potiphar put him in charge of his whole estate. When Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care.”
- The test of injustice. Potiphar’s wife lied and said Joseph tried to rape her. They put him in prison on trumped up charges. This is enough to make you want to give up on your dreams when people lie on you. Joseph decided to live through it and became a trustee in prison. He even used his gift of interpreting dreams that would later lead to his release. When you are locked up for injustice will you lose time or use the time?
- The test of humility. When Joseph finally got summoned by Pharaoh to interpret his dream Joseph showed great humility. He could have complained about being locked up under false charges. He could have bragged about his gift to interpret dreams but instead he said “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Joseph was no longer an arrogant teenager but a humble wise man that God could use.
- The test of power. The day finally came when Joseph’s dream came true. A famine swept across the whole land and his brothers had to go to Egypt to look for food. When they came into Egypt Joseph looked so much like an Egyptian that they did not recognize him. He could’ve got revenge But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
There is a dream that God has given you and it shall come to pass, but in the meantime you have to pass your tests!
Give me the ability to pass my tests. I know what you showed me and I’m doing my best to pass these tests knowing that you are building my character. Please give me the strength to endure and the courage to press my way through.
In Jesus’ Name,