Joseph’s life was filled with one difficult situation after another. By the time he was a teenager, his brothers had developed an intense hatred toward him which led to an attempt to take his life. But rather than kill him, they sold young Joseph into slavery (Genesis 37). And then, as a slave, Joseph was falsely accused of rape and thrown into jail (Genesis 39).
It’s never really explained how Joseph learned to trust God, but he did! He could have become very discouraged when he became a slave, but somehow Joseph adjusted to his circumstances and thrived; “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered” (Genesis 39:2). When tempted with sexual sin by Potiphar’s wife, he kept himself pure because he did not want to “sin against God” (Genesis 39:9). But false accusations still sent him into prison.
Even after spending several years in jail, Joseph continued to place his complete trust in God. When asked to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph risked his freedom and rightly gave all the glory and praise to God rather than take credit for himself; “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires” (Genesis 41:16).
Joseph was rewarded with much more than his freedom; he was placed in charge of the entire land of Egypt during a great famine. He was also reunited with his family and able to keep them from certain starvation. Several years later, after their father died, Joseph’s brothers came and fearfully asked for his forgiveness. Joseph could have taken great revenge, but he continued to demonstrate his understanding of how God cares for His children.
“Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.'”
When Joseph was sold into slavery, he had no idea of God’s awesome plan. All he could do was continue to trust and draw nearer to God. Joseph would spend many years in jail before receiving even a hint of God’s purpose. But God is ALWAYS at work in the lives of those who love Him. Joseph’s life must encourage us to draw ever closer to God during times of hardship – to continue trusting and honoring Him in all we do…no matter what our circumstances!
We all go through “dungeon” seasons when life seems to take unplanned and seemingly “unfair” turns. We all, at times, feel abandoned and alone: “Has God forgotten me? Does He no longer care?” We may not understand why things happen the way they do, but if we will continue to love Him with all our heart and consistently trust Him in and through all our trials, we can be certain (and one day we will truly see) that God’s work in every situation is truly intended for good.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Dec 5 Hosea 1:1-3:5; 1 John 5:1-21; Psalm 124:1-8; Proverbs 29:5-8