Character means the inherent complex of attributes that determines a person’s moral and ethical actions and reactions. We often hear ‘that is my character’ or ‘I trust his character’ or ‘so this is your character’ etc., if not all. Character is developed over time either consciously or unconsciously.
“Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them – Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free; the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. He could instruct the King’s aides as he pleased and teach the king’s advisers” – Psalms 105: 17 – 22 (NLT).
Let us all learn from Joseph’s life!
1. He was sent not sold: Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them – Joseph, who was sold as a slave. His brothers thought they sold him, but God simply sent him through them. Little wonder the Bible affirms that all things (good and bad) works together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Your life is not totally different, the bad times, terrible things, wicked people, unfortunate circumstances might be part of God’s plan and will eventually end in your favour.
2. He suffered despite being sent: They bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar – Joseph was bruised, kept in chains and left in prison for long even after serving his master Potiphar well and deciding to honor God by fleeing from his master’s wife. We all want God’s will but on our own terms and in line with what we perceive or think it should be. Suffering might be part of his will for you; suffering does not mean you were not called, sent or in God’s will.
3. His time came: Until the time came to fulfill his dreams – King Solomon says in Proverbs that there is time for everything. The time of Pharaoh’s cup bearer whose dream was interpreted by Joseph came yet Joseph remained in prison. Sometimes people behind you, people you fed, mentored, saved, rescued or witnessed to have their time come before yours. And as well as you honestly wish them, you are not very excited. Well, Joseph’s time eventually came, and your time will surely come.
4. His character was tested: The Lord tested Joseph’s character – He was not just tempted by his master’s wife, his character was being tested by the Lord and guess what? Joseph excellently passed the test even though he lived in a land where God was not reverenced and could give reasons for failing. Dear friend, the Lord will test us. When you are tempted to join evil trends, compromise your belief or be like others – your character is being tested not by people or the devil but The Lord God.
5. Then his freedom came: Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free – After scaling through the tests successfully, his freedom came. Your freedom which is ‘the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints’ will come but you need to pass the character test.
6. Open doors followed: The ruler of the nation opened his prison door – Some of us pray for open doors while still bound, what good will an open prison door do to an inmate bound hands and feet and attached to the walls. Little wonder the bible says we pray amiss but thank God we belivers can pray in the Spirit. Doors, windows and even heaven will be opened for you, but you need to be free first and passing the character test enhances freedom.
7. He was put in charge: Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household; he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. He could instruct the King’s aides as he pleased and teach the king’s advisers – This position enabled him fulfill his God given dream and divine plan. God could have taken him from his first owners to pharaoh or even let him be born in pharaoh’s house but he didn’t. The long process developed his character which is crucial for anyone in charge.
Our processes differ because we will be put in charge of different things, God knows what he is doing and yes he is working in you now so he can work through you later on.
God can but will not do through you what he has not done in you.
God’s ultimate plan is to put you in charge according to his will for you.
Now that you are nowhere near being put in charge, still in your unique process, never forget that YOUR CHARACTER WILL BE TESTED, decide and prepare to pass your own character test and be rest assured that your time will eventually come.
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Sincerely, Peace Iruoma