Podcast: Commentary and Read Aloud:
For part two of this series, “Hard Things” I want you to recognize God’s presence and help in your seasons of adversity. Join me as I consider how that God works in and through our lives. We will consider insights from Joseph’s life. Bible quotes:
The Holy Bible, Berean Standard Bible, BSB
Copyright ©2016, 2020 by Bible Hub
Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Considering Broken Dreams and Joseph
The Old Testament Book of Genesis devotes thirteen chapters (37 to 50) to the account of how that God works through the life of Joseph to save His chosen family and multiply them into a nation. Joseph’s story begins with dreams that God sends him. He relates these dreams to his brothers and father Jacob. This dream and his brothers’ jealousy leads to great suffering in his life. Please read the following passages in your personal bible:
What happens to young Joseph? Did he do any wrong? Why were his brothers so angry and full of rage against him?
But God was with Joseph! Genesis 39:3-4
Specifically, what did his master notice? Why did the master promote him?
How is God active with Joseph in prison? How does the warden recognize God’s presence with Joseph?
Even in these adverse times, God was with Joseph moving behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes. Pharaoh’s cup bearer forgot Joseph (verse 23)! Yet, when the time was right (Gen. 41:9) , and Pharaoh had a dream he couldn’t understand, the cup bearer remembers. God weaves together all these events and circumstances to place Joseph in the right place at the right time to encounter Pharaoh. Joseph recognizes God’s purpose in Genesis 45:4-8 Please note emphasis is mine.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come near me.” And they did so.
“I am Joseph, your brother,” he said, “the one you sold into Egypt! 5And now, do not be distressed or angry with yourselves that you sold me into this place, because it was to save lives that God sent me before you. 6For the famine has covered the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. 7God sent me before you to preserve you as a remnant on the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8.Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God, who has made me a father to Pharaoh—lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
God has perfect timing to accomplish what He plans. The problem for us is that we often don’t understand or appreciate God’s unseen plans/timing. We, as finite humans, don’t fully perceive or understand what God is doing behind the scenes. This is why we see throughout God’s Word that the faithful must walk by faith and not by sight. We need a faith that guides and sustains us during the uncertain and anxious times in our lives!
When we face unfair treatment, hostility, and troubles from others, we can remember Joseph’s example. First, He remained faithful even when tempted by the wife. Also, he allowed God to handle his brothers and his situation. Some scholars believe that Joseph is a pre-messiah figure. There are certainly numerous parallels. First, Joseph is an innocent brother thrown into a pit, sold into slavery. Secondly, God also preserves or saves His people through Joseph’s suffering and elevation. Let’s remember that as God’s people we’re in His strong arms! God’s purposes will come about through His Infinite Strength and Wisdom!
God’s Desire for Us!
God desires that we have life in Him and this life is abundant. For us to grow, God will send challenges that mold and shape us. This isn’t a pleasant or easy process. Abundant, true life is only found in Christ Jesus!
With God even the impossible situations become feasible! Remember Abram and Sarai’s old age. Consider the difficulties Moses faces in leading God’s people out from the most powerful empire of the world! What about the Hebrew nation conquering the Promised Land and other Old Testament miracles? Recall Elijah’s sacrifice when God sends fire down and calls His people to repent from following false gods!
The Example of Job
Do we recognize that all is from God, even the difficult things? Job understood this when he comments Job 2:9-10:
9Then Job’s wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10“You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept from God only good and not adversity?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Either God is in control and sovereign over all things or things just happen by chance. That’s the two simple options to believe. Does God require that we understand why things happen? Can you quote any scripture that says that Christians will live trouble free lives and that we are safe from troubles?
Have you ever questioned as to why that Jesus said that we must change and become like little children? Consider carefully the question that the disciples ask before He makes this comment: Bible passage Matthew 18:1-5
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Who does Jesus call forth? Why?
To follow Jesus is to be humble. Part of being humble is being wise enough to admit that you don’t have all the answers, but that you know Someone who is the Answer! Children typically trust. Children want to be with the ones that love and cares for them.
Jesus wants us to be the same way in relating to Him. Obviously, He isn’t physically present with us in human form. But, He has sent Holy Spirit to indwell in us. We may not be able to sit next to Him, but we can seek Him out in His Living, Word and make time for prayer and meditation!
All things come to us through our relationship with Jesus Christ. The key point here is that we must maintain and strengthen this relationship. Jesus is the Redeemer who brings us into fellowship with His Holy Spirit, and Heavenly Father. Make an effort to walk with God daily. Ephesians Chapters One and Two explain this relationship.
Jesus often comes in the unexpected, quiet moments of our lives. The world and all of it cares and worries can easily drown out the still, soft voice. That’s why prayer, mediation, and a walk in nature can really be important!
May God encourage and strengthen you as you walk on your journey of faith! I write these words for His glory and your edification,