January 23, 2008    

TENDER MERCIES
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Genesis 41:41-46

Pharaoh swept his hand out wide, so as to include all that vast land of Egypt, and said, "It's all yours, Joseph." Then he took off his signet ring and put it on Joseph's hand.

You know what that ring signified, don't you? It was the platinum charge card of that day. It was the way the king stamped the invoices, the laws, or anything else he wanted to verify or validate with his seal. Now Joseph had that ring on his finger, placed there by the Pharaoh himself. Joseph wore the authority of the king's imprint.

Joseph's Cinderella-like promotion was incredible. But when God determines the time is right, that's the way He operates.

When the reward comes, thank God without pride. Only God can bring you through and out of the dungeon. Only God can reward you for your faithfulness. If He has, be grateful, not proud. Remember, with humility, that it is God who has put you there.

Some of you are on the verge of promotion and you don't even know it, because God doesn't announce His appointments in advance. What you have to do, while you wait, is to believe His promises. While in the darkness of your dungeon, by faith, trust him to bring the light of a new dawn. In the winter of your discontent, believe there'll be a spring.

The God of Joseph will stay beside us during the dungeon days; He will not forsake or forget us. He will be there during the blast of the winter storm, holding out the promise of springtime. He will be there through the darkest night, quietly reminding us of the promise of morning light.
 
Joseph learned that a broken and contrite heart is not the end, but the beginning. Bruised and crushed by the blows of disappointment and unrealized dreams, he discovered that God had never left his side. When the affliction ended, he had been refined, and he came forth as gold. He had become a person of greater stability, of deeper quality, of stronger character. God's promises are just as much for us as they were for Joseph. His grace is still at work. His tender mercies accompany us from the pit to the pinnacle.

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.