Kindness Extended

Genesis 39:21
But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.

This verse really stood out to me today as I listened to the story of Joseph. Here’s a man who has been through it! He’s already been thrown into a well, then sold into slavery by his brothers who led their dad to believe that he was killed. He’s gone from being a favorite son to a slave, and now after being falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he’s thrown into jail. Yet in the midst of this, as he’s in jail, the bible says that the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him.

This hit me hard. My human mind wants to think that God’s kindness means no trouble. I imagine that His kindness would prevent things like this from happening in life. If God was showing kindness to him, why wasn’t he found not guilty and this woman been busted?

Kindness doesn’t mean there are no wrinkles in the road of life. Jesus even said himself that in this world we will have trouble. We also know that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and that his ways are not our ways. How could Joseph have known that this would all work together to bring about his destiny? Kindness isn’t lack of conflict. It’s grace to get through it.

How much better would life be if we would recognize that His kindness is in effect right now, in this very moment of life. One of my favorite verses of scripture is found in Lamentations 3:21-22. It says, “This I recall to my mind and therefore I have hope, the LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.”

This story of Joseph is proof that just because we find ourselves in difficult and painful places, doesn’t mean that we’re in the wrong place. It doesn’t mean that we’ve lost the favor of God or that he’s deserted us. The LORD was always with Joseph and gave him favor in places he never dreamed of going… bad places and amazing places. It’s so much easier to focus on God’s favor in the situation rather than the place Joseph was at when we read it on a page, but in the thick of our lives, we find it quite the opposite. We focus on where we’re at rather than the kindness God’s extending to us, giving grace to see us through.

I challenge you shift your focus from what’s happened and where it’s brought you, to the kindness of God today. Remember that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Then remind yourself that you are called according to His glorious purpose! Resolve to commit your work to Him, and watch his favor unlock the doors and lead you into your destiny.

Appointed Answers

Luke 1 verse 20, Gabriel has just told Zechariah that God has heard his prayers and that he and his wife Elizabeth who are old in age are now going to have a child. Zechariah’s immediate response is not one of excitement but it’s one of doubt because his wife is past the age of having children.
Gabriel then tells him that’s he’s gonna be unable to speak until the day these things take place, because he didn’t believe the news from God which Gabriel had told him.
Then Gabriel says something I love! He says, “My words are of a kind which will be fulfilled in the appointed and proper time.
This means that what God says is gonna happen, is gonna happen, but not is it just gonna happen… it’s gonna happen in the PROPER time. In the appointed time!
To us the right time to have a child would be between 20 and 35. And some may even have a greater window but we would all agree that the best time would be while the woman is still able to conceive! Other than that it’s impossible and we tend to assume that God has said no when our request and petitions haven’t been granted within our window of possibility.
Most people would stop praying for a child once they‘ve past the age of conceiving one, and I’m sure this is what Zechariah did because if he’d still been praying for this to happen, he wouldn’t have been so surprised and full of doubt when he was told it was gonna happen.
We believe for things when we’re in the season of prayer for them. But we have to remember that when the season is over, our petitions before God don’t turn into a history book in heaven!
I went into a new doctors office this week and requested to see the doctor. It didn’t happen that day but the office said, ”let me make you an appointment.” That meant that though it didn’t happen right then, and though I wasn’t getting what I went for right when I asked for it, it was still on it’s way because it was given an appointed time.
There are things we ask God for that he immediately makes an appointment for.
That’s why the Bible shows us in this story that when God decides on something to happen that he gives the word for it to happen and gives it an appointed and proper time!
Even though God was granting Zechariah’s request, Zechariah was made unable to speak until it happened because of unbelief. I don’t know about you but I want to keep believing for the things that I’ve brought before the Lord in prayer! The loved ones that I’ve prayed for God to save and yet they seem to get further and further. The healing that I believe has been promised and yet it doesn’t seem as if it’s getting any better. I don’t want my mouth shut due to unbelief. Instead I want to be anticipating so that when it’s appointment day arrives I can tell every body I know what the Lord has done. It may seem like your time has passed but remember that our ways are not His ways because His ways are higher. He’s got the full calendar of all time and we only have a few years worth. Trust today that God has heard you and he’s marked on his calendar the appointment for what you’ve requested. Though that answer to your request seems late, that’s because God appointed it to be a miracle, and miracles bring more glory to God than a request that was possible while it was still inside of your box!