THE SIX TESTS YOU MUST GO THROUGH
Matthew 13:19… “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom. . .” (KJV). The Lord is interested in the growth of His Word in you. There is a difference between the “word of the kingdom” and just an ordinary sermon. The word of the kingdom is the word the Holy Spirit gives. In Matthew 13, four men received a word. The first one’s heart was hard and when the word was given, he couldn’t understand it, so the devil ate it up. The second man failed because when persecution and trials came, he listened to the word of others and not to the word given by the Lord. He let others take away the joy that the word of the Lord brought to him. The third man was so busy with making money and with the cares of this world that he let those things choke the word that was given. The fourth man understood the word that was given and success came. When the word of God comes, it’s not always smooth sailing. God is going to test your character through a variety of tests. Using Joseph as an example, let us see the six tests you will experience before the word is fulfilled.
Psalm 105:17-19… “Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them — Joseph, who was sold as a slave. There in prison, they bruised his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his word, the LORD tested Joseph’s character” (NLT). Genesis 37-41 is Joseph’s story. Chapter 37:5-11 records the word the Lord gave to Joseph in a dream/vision about his place in God’s plan for Israel. He told it to his family. Jacob rebuked Joseph but observed the words; his brothers envied him. Note the six tests that Joseph went through. The word God gave was tested in Joseph’s character.
1) The test of misunderstanding… The family misunderstood. They formed a conclusion without thinking it through. The devil will eat up a misunderstood word. God didn’t tell you to feed the devil. Did Joseph speak of the word too soon? Remember, Joseph was only about seventeen years old. His character was not fully developed. To pass this test, don’t give your vision out too quickly. Take care of it. Feed on it and it will sustain you; hold it in your heart and it will prosper you in time.
2) The test of ridicule… “Behold this dreamer cometh” (Genesis 37:19, KJV). There is always someone who will ridicule the word God gave you. “Who do you think you are?” The word “ridicule” means “exposing a word to laughter and mocking,” or “making something good an object of laughter.” A “word obeyer” is always a thorn in the flesh of a “word forsaker.” To pass this test, keep holding the word in your heart. The word God gave you is always greater than the word of ridicule.
3) The test of adversity… Genesis 37:20-28… The pit experience–misery, distress, misfortune, fear, and not being wanted anymore. People will separate you from themselves. Joseph wanted to please God, but his brothers wanted to please themselves. God took Joseph away from his brothers’ hatred. To pass this test, keep true to God. Trust in God. Let faith in what God has said rule you.
4) The test of persecution… Genesis 39:1-23… The story here is the dungeon experience. Joseph was persecuted for practicing good morals (Proverbs 21:21, 22:11). “I did the right thing and was persecuted for it.” The word “persecution” refers to being harassed in a manner that causes injury and suffering. People often lie about you because you did the right thing. To pass this test, keep a good spirit within you when you are blacklisted and gossiped about. Don’t let a little suffering destroy your faith in God (Matthew 5:10, 1 Peter 2:19-23).
5) The test of someone else’s false word… The test of a contradicting word (Genesis 40:14-23). People will say one word and do another thing. The chief butler acted in a contrary way at first. Joseph had believed that the butler would tell the king (eventually he did, but only when a crisis demanded it). To pass this test, don’t trust people’s word over the word God gave you. God knew where Joseph was.
6) The test of time… Genesis 41-47… Joseph was about 17 when God gave him the word. Now he is 30 years old. The king of Egypt had a dream and the butler finally told the king about Joseph. Joseph, a man filled with the Spirit of God walked into the word that God had given him.
Joseph passed each of the tests put before him and God’s word was fulfilled.
Pastor George Belobaba
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