ODJ: at work

April 16, 2014 

READ: Genesis 37:5-11, 42:1-6 

Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground (42:6).

A group of us were sharing dinner and then we gave testimonies about a God who loves His people enough to speak His dreams into their hearts. We heard of an apartment complex for single mothers. A wedding barn and a Christian campground. A new local church being established. Common to all was the desire that God’s name would be made great through each respective leap of faith.

Uncertain about believing in a God who can’t be seen with physical eyes, listening to a voice we can’t record and following a hand we cannot tangibly touch, we can make faith nothing more than a collection of dry terms as we hunker down in a predictable life. More than something we know or talk about, however, faith must be lived out.

Consider the hall of faith in Hebrews 11. They built, conceived, offered, promised, blessed, spoke, refused, chose, left, went, overthrew, ruled, received, shut, quenched, escaped, suffered and died. Refusing safety, those who truly believed in God moved in incredible ways—following God to points beyond whatever felt safe and comfortable.

Stepping out into the unknown isn’t easy. Some days it’s downright frightening. Scripture doesn’t give us an exact reason for Joseph’s forthrightness in sharing the dream God had given him. It only details the outcome: rejection, isolation and injustice. But for Joseph—and for us—the cost of faith pales in comparison to the fulfilment of God’s promise (Genesis 46:5-7; Joshua 24:32; Psalm 105:19).

Believing what God has spoken doesn’t guarantee an easy journey, but it does give us a front-row seat to watch Him at work. For “God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished” (Philippians 1:6). —Regina Franklin

1 Kings 10:1-13 ‹365-day plan

Read Proverbs 13:1-12. Everyone desires to see dreams fulfilled. What connection might there be between the instruction in verses 1-11 and the truth found in verse 12? 
When have you felt that God didn’t come through for you in fulfilling one of your dreams? How might God have been at work even in this seeming failure?