test: to examine or evaluate; to check the reliability of someone; to reveal the strength or quality of something in secret before they are used in public
Before you could be promoted to the next grade in school, you had to pass the tests. If you failed the tests, then you had to either repeat the grade or repeat a class.
I thought that once I finished school that my ‘testing days’ were over, but that is far from the truth.
When Potiphar’s wife tried to sleep with Joseph, he passed the test, but he was wrongly accused of rape and sent to prison. That was another test.
While in prison, he noticed two men who were sad. He was tested with their dreams. He interpreted their dreams although his own dreams hadn’t come to pass. That was a test.
Then, the butler promised Joseph that once he was released, he would mention him to Pharaoh, but he forgot about him. That was another test.
Finally, Joseph was tested with Pharaoh’s dreams. Pharaoh had called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, but none of them could interpret his dreams. But when Joseph spoke, he knew there was something different about him. Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?
Pharaoh then made him a ruler over Egypt.
And Pharaoh took the ring that was on his finger and placed it on Joseph’s finger.
And Joseph was arrayed with fine clothes.
And a gold chain was placed around his neck.
And he was given a chariot.
And he was given a new name.
And he was given a wife.
But before Joseph could receive all these things, he had to first pass the test.
God has promised many of us promotion and we want to be promoted just like Joseph. We want to be elevated. We want what is next. We want what God has promised us. We want what God has shown us through dreams and visions.
Has God forgotten you like the butler who had forgotten Joseph? No. So, why the delay? Why hasn’t it happened yet? Maybe it hasn’t happened yet because you keep repeating the same tests.
The test doesn’t come to tempt you, but it comes to prove you. You must be proven faithful and trustworthy. Before God can trust you with your own, He tests you to see if He can trust you with what belongs to someone else. I’m not suggesting that Joseph would have never gotten married, but had he touched another man’s wife, he would have further delayed getting his own wife.
A lot of times we think the reason why we haven’t received certain things is because God is punishing us for the things we have done in the past, but God loves you. He is not punishing you. He is only testing you. Do you really love Him? Will you obey Him? When God tested the children of Israel in the wilderness, He did it to reveal what was in their hearts. He did it to see whether they would obey Him or not.
You are asking for a lot from God, but God is requiring a lot from you. Can you imagine what it would have been like if God had given all those things to Joseph at the age of 17? I’m not focusing on his age, but I’m focusing on the fact that he had lot to learn. In order for him to be able to fit those clothes or that ring or that position, he had to grow into it.
He had to learn how to be humble, to be compassionate, to be faithful, to forgive and to become a person God could trust. I believe one of the reasons Joseph was able to forgive his brothers was because he knew what it was like to be forgiven. I know he did nothing wrong, but any time you are released from prison, you are forgiven, pardoned and given another chance. And now he could give to others what had been given to him.
Whether you’re still in school or not, there will always be a test. My prayer is that we stop repeating the same tests and instead learn from them.
I don’t care about the tests you have failed in the past. Just know that you will pass this test and the next test to come. Whoever has dug a pit for you, will fall in it. You will not fall with those who fall. You will grow in wisdom and in strength and when they see you, they will see the Father.
The word of the Lord tried him (Psalm 105:19).
Joseph went through some ups and down. One moment he was reporting to his dad about what his brothers were doing. The next moment he was thrown in a pit and sold into slavery. One moment he was serving an officer of Pharaoh. The next moment he was accused of trying to assault the officer’s wife and sent to prison, yet he ministered and served even while in prison. Why do you look so sad today? (Genesis 40:7). He helped someone else with their dream even though his dream hadn’t come to pass yet.
The word, promotion, means to move forward or to advance. We use that word in school when someone goes to the next grade or level. When we use that same word in the workplace, we think it means having a title and getting more money, but when God talks about promotion, it is about developing growth and character. Promotion is not just about getting. It is about giving – to God and to others.
Joseph learned how to submit to others, to forgive, to let go of pride, and how to love. He wasn’t just going through. He was growing through and at the right time God promoted him. Pharaoh set him over his house, his people and over all the land of Egypt. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God so that HE many exalt you in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
Some years ago, the Lord told me that a promotion was coming (at another job), but I didn’t receive what God promised because of fear, laziness and I had the wrong attitude. I wanted everything to come easy. I didn’t want to go through anything. I didn’t want to endure anything and eventually I gave up. I walked off that job – the same job where God said He was going to promote me. I didn’t give the word a chance.
God still sits as a refiner and purifier of silver (Malachi 3:3). Fire is applied during the refining process because it causes what is hidden to be revealed and rise to the surface. The Lord sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). God doesn’t use fire to destroy us. He uses it to change us. Like silver, you and I are valuable and precious to God, but He wants to remove the dross (impurities) from the silver so that we will be ready for HIS use (Proverbs 25:4).
Some of you may not have a job, but God has given all of us responsibilities, gifts and talents. Promotion will come, but to be used the way God wants to use you, let Him separate the dross from the silver so that others can see HIM in the silver.
Don’t run from it. Don’t complain about it. Don’t give up on it. Let where you are prepare you for where you are going.