Handling A Hard Message

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The Shocking Message

Rise and Shine for Jesus

These weekly devotionals I will be posting come from and are copyright to Pam Iannello, my pastor's late wife who went home to be with the Lord on June 18, 2008.

Learning how to face our family problems through an in-depth study of the troubled home of Joseph.

Handling A Hard Message

This devotion is part of the "Family Problems" series.

As we see in the life of Joseph today, the servant of the Lord gets to share good news with people and bad. At times our God will give us an easy message to share and sometimes a hard message to impart, based on what He reveals to us through His Word. After helping the chief butler in his walk with the Lord, Joseph turns to minister to the chief baker. Let's see how he handles this delicate situation as we continue on in Genesis 40:16-19…

When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head: And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head. And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

After listening to Joseph deal with the butler, the baker appears to be eagerly waiting to find out what God has for his life. We'll always come alongside the man of God if we think he's got good news for us, amen? But what if it's bad? After carefully listening to his dream, Joseph realized that God had given him a very tough message to deliver to this man, for the Lord was sending the baker notification of his impending death! How shocking this must have been - especially since the butler just received a promotion! Nevertheless, Joseph did not shun declaring all the counsel of God. Ladies, it's times like these that we must remember it's God's business what He is going to do in each one of our lives. All things are ordained in heaven. As servants and messengers of the Lord, we must respect and trust God's dealings with everyone - especially ourselves!

Psalm 75:6-7
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

When you are faced with hearing shocking news about someone, how does it affect you? Immediately we wonder how the person is handling the information, amen? And then we naturally speculate how we would accept such report ourselves. I think that at this very moment in dealing with the chief baker, Joseph might have taken personal inventory of his own heart! You see, in light of the baker's circumstances, God had just given Joseph an opportunity to consider whether or not he was still 100% yielded to accepting God's will for His life, no matter what - even if it meant his death sentence in prison and never getting out! Are you stable enough in your faith in God today, dear lady, to handle His hard sayings?

John 6:60
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

Ladies, Joseph was not fearful of hard things; he is an example of a servant who remains faithful to the Lord and tells the baker the truth! Was it Joseph's fault that he could bring the baker no better tidings? Of course not! So it is with God's ministers who are but sharing God's message plainly - they cannot make the news other than it is! God's Words cannot be improved upon. So often folks get mad at preachers that tell them the truth, but to do so is to get mad at God! The Bible doesn't tell us the chief baker's reaction to Joseph's interpretation of his dream, so we can only imagine it. Perhaps the baker's face filled with the horror of his shocking sentence, the discomfort it must have brought him, the fear he felt, the isolation from those around him, the agony of his plight, the sorrow for his actions toward Pharaoh etc. This could have made it an extremely uncomfortable situation for Joseph as an interpreter. As an oracle of God, would having to carry out such a responsibility have troubled you at all, dear lady? Do you think you would you have altered God's message just a tiny little bit to protect yourself from the discomfort of such a moment? God's Word exhorts us to strengthen and prepare ourselves for such a heavy responsibility, not shrink from it! We must speak unto others ALL that God has commanded. So too, we are not to be dismayed by the faces of those who have just received a hard message from God…

Jeremiah 1:17
Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

Yes, true servants of the Lord must never compromise but ever present the Lord's message the way God intends it be given - in light of the truth. We cannot and must not dress up what God has said, even if it proves to be painful to the receiver or causes unpopularity with folks. If we do, it will come to pass that all those listening to God's message through you will someday find out that God was true but YOU were lying to them!

Romans 3:4
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

So many people fail not only to comprehend the message of God but fail also in representing the message of God. It is a grievous thought to think it could be so with God's own people. Though men may prove to be unfaithful oracles, it does not alter one bit of God's faithfulness to us in fulfilling that which He has spoken! When Christians are dealing with people in their flesh, we like to enhance the Word of God with extra judgment upon those we are losing patience with, we're tired of ministering to, or dislike altogether. Then there are those people with whom we favor or pity and we subtract from God's judgment while sharing His message with them in a compromising fashion. Either way is wrong - we are never to be found in a lie!!

Proverbs 30:6
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

In closing, let's learn from Joseph; let's be brave enough to say even the hard things of God and be ready always to receive hard sayings too. Is there anybody you've not told the truth to simply because you don't want the discomfort it might bring you personally? Is there anything hard the Lord might be asking you to consider today? Whatever the case may be, your faith in Him should absorb the shock!

Acts 20:27
For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the counsel of God.

God Bless,
Isaiah 60:1&2
Copyright 2000 Pamela A. Iannello
Revised 2003 Meet Ms. Pam

Other Rise and Shine Devotionals
New Beginnings Baptist Church Website

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