January 19, 2018
by Larry Stockstill of the Association of Related Churches (ARC)
Everyone goes through a process of proving and testing. Jesus taught that the seed falls on various types of ground, each type representing the human heart (Matthew 13). Each of us will be tested to see how well we battle the areas of unbelief, discouragement, and distraction.
The birds mentioned in Matthew 13:4 are the demonic thieves who lie to us about the promises of God, tricking us into unbelief. The rocky soil (vv. 20-21) represents the onslaught of discouraging problems and persecutions that come our way. The thorny ground (v. 22) refers to the continual distractions of riches, pleasure, and worldly things.
Joseph passed each test in his thirteen years of Egyptian captivity. Throughout those years, he never allowed himself to doubt or to become negative about God’s promise that he would one day be a ruler. He also never grew discouraged, though his way grew more difficult. Finally, he never compromised with sin, even when Potiphar’s wife offered him everything in exchange for his purity.
Decide today to reject unbelief, to fight discouragement, and to refuse the distractions of the world. As you pass God’s tests in each of these areas, He will take you from the pit to the prison to the palace!