THROUGH THE FIRE

BY:  SCOTT CARPENTER 

FEBRUARY 7, 1999

Going through the fire… have you ever been through a fiery trial… a fiery circumstance?

If you haven’t… you will… all they that live Godly will suffer persecution…

Sometimes God will even allow you to go through situations so that you grow stronger in Him… situations that may not always be pleasing in your eyes…

Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery… he was a pleasant child… just a young man… he was beloved of his father… the favorite among 12 brothers… the bible says in Genesis 37:3 that Israel (Jacob) his father loved Joseph more than all his children… and when Josephs brothers saw that he was beloved of Jacob they became angry… the bible says that they hated him… they couldn’t even speak to Joseph in a peaceful manner… Being loved of God will not make you popular in the worlds eyes… more than likely it will cause you to experience what Joseph did… hate… but don’t you hate back… don’t you get angry back… Jesus said for you to love them…

Joseph loved his brothers through their hatred for him… and then God’s will began to operate in Joseph’s life… and he dreamed a dream…

In Geneses 37:6 Joseph begins to tell his brothers about his dream…

“And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.”

Joseph was innocent… his only crime was to “step out” into the will of God…

When you step out into Gods will for your life… you won’t be popular… when you step out… people may not like you anymore… when you step out it may cause you trouble…

Gods will continued to work in Joseph… and he dreamed again…

“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.”

One day Joseph went out to feed the sheep… and Jacob his father sent him to feed his brothers as well… when his brothers saw Joseph approaching from afar off the began to conspire and plot against him… “Behold” they said… ‘This dreamer comes near.”

“Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”

Doing Gods will makes you a target… it makes people jealous… it makes some people afraid….

But God had a plan for Joseph… be thankful that He has a plan for you as well…

Reuben, one of Joseph’s brothers said “lets not kill him.”

The other brothers changed their minds and they threw Joseph in a pit… some of Gods people today have been cast into a deep pit… a pit of despair… a pit of sadness… but God has a plan…

The bible says that the brothers lifted up their eyes and saw a company of Ishmaelites heading their direction… and Judah said, “Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.”

God had a purpose… God had a plan… Joseph had a destiny with the almighty…and so do you and I… you may think you are in deep distress…maybe youre in a deep pit… without any hope… but wait… God will in His appointed time send help your way… just hang on a little longer… don’t give up hope yet… dig in a little deeper… and lift up your heads for your redemption draws near…

Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver, and they took him into Egypt…

His brothers took the coat Jacob had made for Joseph and they killed a goat… and dipped the coat in the blood… they brought the coat back to Jacob and said, “This have we found… Jacob recognized the coat and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.”

Joseph was brought into Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh bought Joseph… and the Lord was with Joseph… and God prospered Joseph… Potiphar saw this and he made Joseph overseer of all his house… and the bible says that God blessed the Egyptians house for Joseph’s sake… look around to somebody and say “I’m a blessing.”

Joseph ruled Potiphar’s house well… and in time Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph… too good of a liking… she began to lust after Joseph… and she said to Joseph, “Lie with me.”… but Joseph refused… he said “my master doesn’t even know what all he has… and he has committed all that he has into my hand… there is none greater than me in this house, and Potiphar has not kept anything back from me… but you… how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God…

The bible says that Potiphar’s wife spoke to Joseph day by day… but he didn’t give in to her… then one day Joseph was going about his business… and Potiphars wife caught him by his clothes…and said ‘Lie with me.”… and Joseph fled…leaving his clothes in her hands… he ran from sin… and when Potiphar returned home she lied… and accused Joseph of trying to force himself on her… the enemy really rages when you take a stand against sin… he tried to destroy Joseph… but how many know that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord… who are the called according to his purpose.”… what the devil intended to destroy God turned into Good…

Joseph was cast into prison… but even in prison God was with him… and God showed him mercy and gave Joseph favor in the eyes of the keeper of the prison… and once again… all was committed into Josephs hands…

God had just placed Joseph in waiting… and he was exactly where God needed him to be… you may think that your in a mess… that you don’t know whether or not God is with you… have faith… He knows exactly where you are… and what it is He intends to do in you and through you…

As Joseph was in prison it came to pass that Pharaoh became angry with two of his officers and cast them into prison… and while they were there they both dreamed a dream… the thing that Got Joseph in trouble with in the beginning, the Gift that God had placed in Joseph… that same thing was about to set Him free… you can’t be free tonight… not really free…unless you are in the will of God…

Joseph explained the dreams to the two men… and sure enough… what he said came to pass…

In time Pharaoh himself had a dream… and he searched all of magicians and wise men… but no one could explain it… then somebody remembered Joseph… the little Hebrew in prison… and Josephs destiny went into motion… when it’s God’s appointed time… things will fall into place… when it’s God’s appointed time you’ll see everything begin to go exactly as it needs to go…

Joseph told Pharaoh about his dream… the world was about to endure 7 years of plenty… and 7 years of famine… and God gave Joseph wisdom to instruct the Egyptians of what to do.

Pharaoh was a smart man…he saw that God had given Joseph wisdom… and Pharaoh set Joseph as a ruler over all the kingdom of Egypt… hated of his brothers… cast into a pit… sold into slavery… accused of a crime he didn’t commit… cast into prison… and now ruler over the entire land of Egypt… God was with Joseph… be thankful that God is with you…

In time the famine struck… just as Joseph said it would… and guess who came looking for food… the very brothers that had plotted against him…

They didn’t recognize Joseph… but he knew them… Joseph could have gotten revenge… he could have had them all killed… they were in his hands… but Joseph had in him the Spirit of God… and Joseph gave them mercy… He told them ” For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

What the enemy intends for evil… God intends for Good…

Later Joseph sent for all of his family to come into Egypt… all of his brothers and their wives…and his father…

The entire family, those who would become the nation of Israel… were saved… due to Gods will in one man… because he stood firm… he fled sin… and he endured the fiery trials that came his way… not looking upon them as evil… but as good…

Shadrack, Meshac and Abindago were cast into the firey furnace for not bowing down to the Gods of this world… they went in bound and tied up… but when Nebukanezzer looked in he saw four… and the fourth was like unto the son of God… God is with you in the trials… he is with you in the storms… when Shadrack, Meshac and Abindago came out… they weren’t bound anymore… when you come out of the fiery trial… all that kept you in bondage will have burnt up…

These trials… these tests… all will produce exactly what God intends… It’s Gods will that we be conformed into the image of his firstborn son Jesus… and all of the trials… all the tests… God intends it all for good…

A man went into the forest one day… and he saw a butterfly wiggling inside a cocoon… and he decided to help the butterfly out… so he ripped open the cocoon and went on his way… what he didn’t see was that the butterfly was not through growing… it still was not complete… it fell to the ground deformed… and it died…

God placed just enough webbing within the cocoon to cause the butterfly to struggle just long enough so that it’s little body would grow and become what it was supposed to become…

God is in charge of our lives… and he knows what we need to grow… I gave my mother in law some poinsettias after Christmas… they were almost dead… but she cut them back… she pruned them and watered them… and today there is life springing up out of them… don’t struggle when God puts you through the fire… don’t struggle when he prunes you back… He does it so that we may bare more fruit…

If you come out too early you may end up like the butterfly… let God be God in our lives… He knows what we need to grow…

 

THROUGH THE FIRE [Scott Carpenter] 2-7-99        1

 

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