January 11, 2008
THE PERSONAL RAMIFICATIONS
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Genesis 39:19-23
Imagine what must have been going through Joseph's mind at this point, shortly after he was incarcerated. He was not only innocent, he had resisted blatant temptation over and over again. (He'd never read Genesis 41. He didn't know what the final outcome would be. He didn't know that in a matter of years he would be prime minister of Egypt.) All the man knew at this painful moment was that he had done what was right and had suffered wrong for it. Time dragged by. Days turned into months. He was, again, unfairly rejected---forgotten---totally helpless.
But somehow, in the midst of this unfair situation, Joseph sensed that Jehovah's hand was in all this. "Joseph, you're Mine. Just wait. I'm with you. I'm not ignoring you or rejecting you. You will be a better man, Joseph, because of this accusation against you. I'm not through preparing you for My service."
It may be that you are facing temptation right now. Perhaps you have already yielded. A few of my readers may be thinking, Preach it, brother, I need to hear it. So far I've resisted the lure of sensual temptation, and I need help to keep standing strong. But not one person reading this can say, "I don't know what you're talking about, Chuck. I've never encountered anything like this in my entire life."
You and I need to discern the times in which we live. We are living in an era that attempts to stretch grace to heretical extremes. I see it and hear it virtually every week of my life. So allow me to say this very straight: The greatest gift you can give to your marriage partner is your purity, your fidelity. The greatest character trait you can provide your spouse and your family is moral and ethical self-control. Stand firm, my friend. Refuse to yield. Joseph did and so can you. So must you!
Whatever your situation, no matter how alluring or pleasurable or momentarily delightful the bait looks, don't linger. Claim the supernatural strength that comes from knowing Jesus Christ and, operating under the control of His power, stand strong in His might. Right now, this very moment, determine to be a Joseph. Make up your mind to join God's ranks---and from this day forward, resist.
Otherwise, you will yield. It's only a matter of time.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.