Hidden Encouragement

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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.

Hidden Encouragement

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

Today as we read verses 9-15 of Genesis chapter 40, we are going to listen in on the chief butler's dream as told to Joseph who readily came along side this man to clarify the message of the Lord…

And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me; And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes: And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand. And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days: Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler. But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

Clearly we can see that the chief butler's dream foretold of his advancement, just like Joseph's own dream had done back in Genesis chapter 37. I don't think it's a coincidence that the butler shared his dream with Joseph first… How sweet it is of the Lord to send a gentle reminder of His promise back into Joseph's life through this man's dream! Do you see how important it is that we minister to others? Not only does our heavenly Father have something special for the hurting, but something special for the helper as well! Our Lord works ALL things together for our good and knows our hearts. Considering that Joseph is currently in a position of waiting on the Lord himself and might be losing hope, God has just sent him a reminder of His plan for Joseph's life and encourages him not to lose sight of it.

Ladies, I wonder how much encouragement we have missed out on that the Lord had designed for us to receive specifically through the lives of those we neglected to help! So often when you engage in dialogue with a suffering, perplexed person you are able to see how much the Lord has done for you personally and how far He has brought you and it keeps us humble and trusting. But when we avoid getting involved, when we resist reaching out and helping others, not only do they lose out on a blessing, but we do too! You see, God has unique, hidden encouragements to bless us with found only when we reach out to others. Give it a try and you will see what I mean. Remember though, that selfishness stops the blessing process, therefore your willing heart is the key to unlocking these treasures from heaven!

Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

How much better it is to share with others than to stash what we have and gather more. Today women have so many "collections" going such as teacups, angel figurines, book series, etc., that I wonder if it's starting to affect our spiritual outlook! Instead of hoarding all the riches we have in Christ, I think it's time we stopped "collecting" them and started a new habit of giving them away as our Savior exemplified…

2 Cor. 8:9
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Because Joseph assisted the chief butler in his understanding of what God was doing in his life, this officer learned that promotion was on the horizon for him, that he would be restored to his former position. What good news, amen? So too, God has a promise of promotion and restoration for every person who will accept His will for their life - salvation through His son Jesus Christ!

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The sad part is, not everybody will pay attention to the message, the truth that God has sent through the servant of the Lord, the interpreter of His Word, so to speak. Many reject the opportunity to enjoy a right relationship with the Master and spend eternity in heaven with Him through the blood of Christ - the Chiefest of Butlers, our personal Cupbearer who willingly bore our sins at Calvary…

Matthew 26:39
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Ladies, you can see how God was encouraging Joseph through the butler's dream to be as Christ - to go a little farther, to fall on his face and pray and remain resigned to His Father's will to the finish! And He would encourage you and I the same way today. How resigned are you to God's will for your life though your persecutions may last awhile? No matter what your trial might be today, are you willing to trust God and rest upon His promises of deliverance, promotion, and restoration as the butler was given? You see, I think Joseph was missing his family. I think he was longing to be restored to them and certainly there is nothing wrong with this desire for it is born of love, not bitterness! Therefore, Joseph asked the butler to remember him when he was delivered from prison. He asked the butler to show kindness and make mention of him unto Pharaoh in hopes that he too could be released. Certainly we should all be willing to help one another out as much as possible, amen? Folks should especially care for that servant of the Lord who has greatly affected their understanding of God…

Galatians 6:10
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

After all this time, Joseph began to share some of his own troubles with the butler, but in a proper way. He did not negatively reflect upon his brothers treatment; nor did he reflect on the wrong done him by Potiphar and his wife, but mildly states his own innocence. What a wonderful example, for even with a heavy heart Joseph relates his circumstances to others in a godly fashion! Ladies, when we tell of our past troubles, we should carefully avoid speaking ill of others. We should simply be content to prove ourselves innocent as Joseph did and not bring reproach upon others…

Ephes. 4:29
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

To clutter your conversation with corruption would be to interfere with your ability to minister properly to others as a servant of the Lord. Corrupt words corrupt the minds and manners of those listening. They block the grace of God from shining through you and hinder the Holy Spirit's influence in you. Because Joseph didn't obstruct God's encouragement for others by his life, it was not withheld from him!

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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