“Patience toward God is faith, patience toward ourselves is hope, patience toward others is love, and God’s patience toward us is salvation.”
In preparation for this week’s discussion, read this article about God’s School of Waiting, and watch the video posted below.
Genesis 45:4-15 New International Version (NIV)
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’
12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.
- Think about the the story of Joseph, and perhaps have someone review the major points. What transformation can we see in Joseph’s life and the life of his family?
- Joseph was extremely effective in his work—he was a professional success. And yet, in significant ways, he had to exercise patience and faithfulness when things did not go his way. Share your thoughts about the balance between being productive as well as patient.
- Can you think of a time in your life that required patience; when God worked with a different time table that you would have liked? Looking back on it, can you see why it happened that way?