Now it happened at the end of two full years . . .
—Genesis 41:1

We have been learning how to live a life that matters by looking at the story of Joseph. Last time we left Joseph in prison. He had been wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife, thrown into prison, forgotten, and forsaken forever–or so he thought. Yet while he was in prison two significant things happened. First, he was promoted to become the assistant to the chief jailer. Joseph always rose to the top wherever he was. Success is the result not of our position but of our disposition.

The second thing that happened was Joseph was forgotten. He interpreted the cupbearer’s dream and then asked the cupbearer to do him a favor—when he was released from prison, would he please plead Joseph’s case before Pharaoh? The cupbearer was released, but Genesis 40:23 says, “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

And that leads us to Genesis 41. “Now it happened at the end of two full years” (v. 1). Let that sink in for a moment. Joseph was in prison for two full years, waiting for God to do something. Waiting isn’t pleasant, is it? Most of us hate to have to wait on anything. The only thing that makes waiting bearable is the knowledge that eventually our waiting time will come to an end. We know eventually the light will turn green, the elevator will come, or the plane will depart. But Joseph didn’t know that. Joseph didn’t have the book of Genesis. He thought he was in prison forever.

Some of you are in a similar situation. You have been waiting for God to intervene on your behalf. You’ve been waiting for a job to come. You’ve been waiting for physical healing to come. You’ve been waiting for a relationship to be mended, but it hasn’t happened. Never forget this–waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time, because while we are waiting, God is working.

God is working in our lives during our waiting time. He is working to burn off impurities in our lives, those things that are unlike Jesus Christ, so He can mold us into who He wants us to be. Waiting has always been a part of God’s plan for His choicest servants. Abraham and Sarah waited 20 years for Isaac to come. Noah waited 120 years for God to fulfill His promise. Moses waited 40 years on the backside of the desert, thinking God had forgotten about him, before God chose to use him again. The apostle Paul, after his miraculous conversion, spent three years waiting in Arabia before God made him a light to the Gentiles. Waiting time doesn’t have to be wasted time. While you are waiting, God is working in your life. He is doing something powerful on your behalf.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Day of Deliverance” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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