Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Look Ye Saints"1 (Lyrics)
Genesis 40:14,23 – "But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison." The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. (NIV)
I had wanted a horse ever since I was a child, and now, finally, I had one, but wasn't sure I still wanted one. I had purchased Frank in the fall and had been busy working with him ever since. Throughout the winter, trust was being established, and once spring arrived, I had progressed to round pen and lunge line obedience training. Never having had a horse before, I was amazed at the amount of time, effort, and patience the training was taking. Nevertheless, I continued on, until one evening, I had had enough. Frank was refusing to follow commands and was being downright ornery. Our training session ended up with me hollering at him, flinging down the lunge line, and stalking off in a fit of temper up to the house, where I went straight to my computer and listed him and the brand new cart I was hoping to train him to pull, up for sale via the Internet.
The next morning, however, after a good night's sleep and prayer, I rethought my decision and cancelled the ad. Having a pony and training him for the cart was not just a whim on my part. It was something that I had spent a lot of time thinking and praying about and saving for. It was something that I truly believe that God had blessed me with — a dream, a hope that He had placed in my heart — so who was I to fling down the challenge of training and walk away?
Amazingly enough, just when I was so discouraged that I was prepared to quit, things turned around. Frank's training started to pay off, and within a matter of weeks, he was pulling the cart with me in it.
How difficult it must have been for Joseph, who also had a dream which he believed God had placed in his heart. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, accused of a crime he didn't commit, and thrown into prison, helping others out, yet again, and then having them forget him. I wonder whether he, too, felt like flinging aside the challenge to continue to live for God amidst the situation he found himself in, giving up his hope and dream, and, mentally at least, stalking away? I expect that much like you and I, he probably did have such times. In the end, however, he kept going, doing what God called him to do, being a witness within his circumstances, waiting upon God to open the way for him.
Likewise, each of us experiences challenges as we strive toward our own God-given hopes and dreams. Each of us has times when we wonder, Is this really of God, or did I mishear His voice? We ask ourselves, Is it really worth it, or should I simply throw in the towel? Today might be one of those moments for you, If so, hang in there. Rise to the challenge at hand on the wings of prayer, and know that success might be closer than you think.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the hopes and dreams that You have given each of us. Bless us with strength, courage to rise on the wings of prayer, and faith to meet the challenges set before us, that You might be glorified as the desires of our hearts reach their fulfillment. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.