Day 12: Refined by God

Read: Genesis 41:37-44

Tom Brady is a name that most know or have at least heard. At 42 years old, Brady has played 19 years in the NFL, has won 6 Super Bowls, and still going. He currently holds the record for the most passing touchdowns, the most regular season wins, the most Super Bowl appearances and wins, and more. While his name is casually mentioned in living rooms across the country during football season, his fame did not come with the snap of a finger. It has come from years of intense training and is maintained with a strict diet, work outs a couple times a day, and a strict daily schedule. Just as Brady’s success did not come quickly, neither does the building of our character. It requires being tested and the practice of discipline.

In Genesis 41, Joseph receives seemingly instantaneous status as Pharaoh makes him second-in-command over Egypt. But in reality, he spent years having his character refined by God and taking one step of obedience at a time that built his rapport with Pharaoh. We don’t know how long he spent before becoming the head of Potiphar’s house, how long he worked in that role, or how long he spent in jail; but he was 17 years old when sold as a slave and 30 when promoted by Pharaoh. That gave Joseph 13 years in total as a slave and in prison in which he took one step at a time and in which God built his character. 

When there is not a clear, tangible expression of good coming out of a season, it’s easy to believe the lie that it is pointless or that God isn’t in it. But the good news is that we can have joy in these hard seasons. How? Even when it seems like there are no results of our actions, we can have joy because God is faithful to build our character, preparing us for the future. During the quiet years of Joseph’s life when he wasn’t being promoted, God was shaping his character to look more like Jesus. This was so important because Jesus lived life to the fullest sense that God created Him to. He lived perfectly. Sin takes humans away from this, but when we become more like Jesus, we live more like we were created to. We can better love God, love the people around us, and see the world through God’s eyes.

2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” One day when followers of Jesus are in heaven, they will fully reflect Him. But even now on earth, God is making us to look more and more like Him. There are seasons where it seems that not much seems to be happening; there’s no big change, adventure, victory, or promotion. But, the reality is that in hard and even in mundane moments, God is doing a work. We can have joy because we trust that He is making us more like His Son.

Have you ever seen God work in your life like this? Ask a close friend or family member how they have seen you grow in the last month. Write that down so that when you next become discouraged that there is not much good coming out of this season of life, you can be reminded that God is at work.

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