Friday, June 21, 2013

Well Trained

Hebrews 12:5-11(MSG)

“My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.  It’s the child He loves that He disciplines; the child He embraces, He also corrects.  God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out.  He’s treating you as dear children.  This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; its training, the normal experience of children.  Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves.  Would you prefer an irresponsible God?  We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?  While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them.  But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.  At the time, discipline isn’t much fun.  It always feels like it’s going against the grain.  Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

I love these scriptures as they are so true and so encouraging! It is always such a beautiful sight when you see someone who is well trained – maybe that’s why so many of us enjoy the Olympics. 

 In the Bible, God gave us a great example of someone who was well trained by God.  This person endured hardship and never lost his dignity or his integrity.  Through this person’s hardship, God showed us how training and discipline in his life blessed many people and paid off handsomely just as the scripture above says.  I am talking about the life of Joseph!  God had the most amazing plan for this young boy.  God was going to place Joseph in a position in his older years where he would emerge as ruler of all Egypt – second in command.  God had plans for him to be a blessing to many!

The Bible tells us that Joseph starts his life out being loved and favored by his father and hated and despised by his brothers.  His brothers became so jealous of him that they planned to kill him. However, instead of killing him, his brothers decided to sell him as a slave.  At 17 years old Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt without his beloved father ever being aware of what happened to him.  Training had begun for Joseph.

At 17 years old when Joseph thought it was the end of his life, it was actually the beginning of the great plan that God had for him.  When Joseph was sold as a slave, chained and treated as baggage and sold as a piece of merchandise, he was unaware that God was going to use this time in his life to train him so that he could rise to be second in command of all of Egypt and have control of all the resources to keep a family, a nation and the world from starvation. 

During the time that Joseph was in Egypt as a slave, he was given tasks that were menial.  However, he was always faithful to his work, his master, and most importantly to his God.  Joseph’s good attitude, and God’s favor upon him, allowed him over the years to gain more responsibility and more favor from people at much higher ranks even when he was unjustly accused and sent to prison.  One day, his training was perfected and God elevated Joseph from the position of slave and prisoner to the position of Administrator of Egypt, Pharaoh’s right hand man!

Where has God placed you right now?  Don’t undervalue where you are – God is using it for a season of preparation.  Whatever circumstance you find yourself - know that God is preparing you so that you will be a blessing to others.   If you are doing what you consider menial tasks, take courage and work with all of your ability and one day the God Who Sees and the God Who Trains will place you in a position that will bring blessings to many!

 “Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews12:11



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