When discouragement attempts to sneak in at anytime, Joseph immediately comes to thought. It seemed he had one challenge after another and he continued to grow spiritually. Anyone familiar with this story knows that the same brothers that had plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery instead, later in life they owed their very existence to him. They had to come to him for food. I never read this without going to Romans 8:28 which reads “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Every challenge he faced was necessary for his growth, but he was never separated from God and neither are we. Whenever I feel I am stuck, I simply remind myself that I just cannot see the entire picture yet, but I know it is always good since my life is guided by God and it will soon be revealed to me.
Recently, as I was praying, a thought came to mind of someone who had hurt me many, many years ago and I hadn’t remembered this person for years. I recognized this had come up for me to address, heal and release. I was led to study the story of Joseph in the Bible who was sold into slavery by his brothers, later imprisoned for a false allegation, but ended up being second to Pharoah for interpreting a dream for him. He endured many hardships but remained loyal to God. Genesis 45:8 reads, “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and Lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.” That was what he told his brothers when he saw them years later.
Joseph could have been filled with such hatred and bitterness, that he would have remained stuck forever. He chose to continue to have faith and follow God and surely, this must have been difficult at times. This was an answer to a prayer that I was not aware I was praying, but it definitely needed to be handled. When we have hatred in our hearts, we are the only one harmed. Today, I will actively pray to love everyone!
This can only be done by turning wholeheartedly to God.
The brothers of Joseph were very fearful after their father had died. Humanly, Joseph had reasons to hate his brothers for all that they had done to him. The key word there is “humanly”, but Joseph always listened to God. In Genesis 50:20-21 it states, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.”
This is applicable to our lives today, when rather than entertain regrets of the past, know everything that happens is to glorify God. There are times we don’t recognize this Truth right away. To stay in the past is futile and useless unless we use that time to see our spiritual growth.
There is such negative news today but we needn’t be pulled down by it. Matthew 1:21,24,25 gives a different type of news! “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called his name Jesus.”
Just as Joseph was awakened, so should we be. We are free to believe whichever news we choose. The Christ continues to live in our hearts and in humility and gratitude we shall know that Christ!
Today, I release my loved ones to God’s care and relax in knowing they are safe and loved. It is important that a loved one does not become an idol; therefore, retarding their spiritual development. Jacob loved Joseph more than all of the brothers, causing hatred among them. Even though, God was there for all, they had to endure years of separation and suffering.
Genesis 37:3-4 reads, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”
Even parental love can come in the form of idolatry. Today, I give all to God!