PATIENCE THROUGH DISAPPOINTMENTS

Scripture Reading: Genesis 40:1-12

“Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention mention me to Pharaoh, and to get me out of this house…Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” (Genesis 40:14,23)

How many times have other people disappointed us? They tell us that they will do something but quickly forget the commitment they made. Some even hurt us deeply by failing to honor their words. Such was the case with the chief cupbearer and Joseph.

Two of Pharaoh’s lead servants, his chief cupbearer and chief baker, did something that offended Pharaoh. Pharaoh had the men placed in the prison where Joseph was. Both men had dreams while they were in prison. God enabled Joseph to interpret their dreams — “And Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me” (v. 8). As it turned out, the chief cupbearer’s dream had a good ending — “In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer” (v. 13). However, the chief baker’s dream had the opposite outcome — “In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head — from you! — and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you” (v. 19).

Joseph asked Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer to mention his circumstances to Pharaoh when he was restored to his position. When the cupbearer was released, Joseph must have been excited as he anticipated his release from prison. But it did not happen — “Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him” (v. 23). Joseph remained in prison two more long years.

People will disappoint us. We cannot put our ultimate trust in human beings, for we all have feet of clay. We will disappoint one another. But when this happens, allow the disillusionment with men to lead us to the faithful of God — “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man” (Psalm 118:8). God is always faithful, even when we are not faithful to Him — “If we are faithless, He remains faithful — for He cannot deny Himself” (II Timothy 2:13).

Joseph remained in prison two more years. He had to wait patiently on the Lord. In God’s timing Joseph was released and he was later made Prime Minister over all of Egypt.

Expect others to disappoint us, but remember that God is always faithful. He will work in our lives on His timetable. We have to learn to wait patiently for Him — “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)

Lord, I have faced disappointment many times throughout my life because people failed to do what they told me they would do. I know that all people have feet of clay. Grant me grace to take refuge in You rather than to trust in man. Also, give me the grace to wait patiently for You to act. Let me be strong and let my heart take courage.

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