Last Thursday, in Pharaoh's Dream, Part 3, we came to understand that storing up our faith in God (by making a habit of giving Him thanks, counting our blessings, remembering what the Lord has done for us in the past, writing down God's blessings, and memorizing scripture) will get us through the tough times. Perhaps we will not come through as "fat, healthy cows" or "plump, healthy heads of grain", but we will come through victorious nonetheless. Why? Because God will remind us of that stored up encouragement at just the right times.
As we go through these hard times that we are all faced with, however, is there anything we should specifically be doing?
Herein lies our first responsibility in times of trouble. Let's remember that Pharaoh was their king. When we find ourselves in the midst of trials, we, too, need to cry out to our King: The Lord of hosts! "Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." (Ps. 50:15 NLT).
What did Pharaoh tell the people? "Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you." (Gen. 41:55c NLT)
Because Joseph was the keeper of the storehouses, Pharaoh was, in essence, telling the people to go to the stored-up provisions! And that is what we should do as well. We need to go to that journal and read about what God has done for us in the past. We need to meditate upon the Bible stories of God's provision. We should review memorized scripture. We need to watch and see what God is doing in our lives at that very moment.
Will God come through?
He did in Egypt: "So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt." (Gen. 41:56 NLT). And He will for us as well. When we go to the storehouses, we will find the stored up treasures that will get us through.
There is one more interesting thing we can learn from this story about how to get through these troubled times. The Bible tells us: "And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world." (Gen. 41:57 NLT).
The Egyptians did not keep their stored-up grain to themselves. It didn't matter that they, themselves, were also starving. They shared what they had with a starving world. There is power, friends, in sharing our God and the blessings He has poured out upon us with other people who are going through troubled times. Isn't this what the Apostle Paul encourages us to do? "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (1 Cor. 1:3-4 NLT). Even in times of famine we must realize that it isn't "all about us". One of the reasons God provides for our needs is so that we can also help others with the same gifts we receive of God. We need to go to our storehouses and give of that encouragement to encourage others with the same encouragement we received from God!
Even in times of trouble
The amazing thing is that when we begin to focus on other people instead of on ourselves, we begin to feel so much better!
What about it, friends? Let's remember Pharaoh's dream. In times of plenty, let's store up the abundance God has given us by being thankful, counting our blessings, recognizing God's hand in our "prosperous" times, writing down God's blessings, memorizing scripture, etc. Then, when those troubled times hit, let's cry out to the Lord and go to those "storehouses". Let's remember what the Lord has done in the past, believe in His promise to help us in present troubles, and...share our encouragement with others! You will be amazed at how much easier it will be to get through those "famine" moments!
This is the last of the Pharaoh's Dream mini-series for how to get through troubled times. If you have missed any of the previous lessons, you can access the entire series by clicking here. Or if you have no internet access, you can email me and I'll forward them to you. God bless you as you prepare to go through those troubled times...with all the provisions stored up!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Pharaoh's Dream" mini-series, please click here.)