I guess we all know the story of Joseph in the Bible. He was thrown into a pit by his own brothers, sold as a slave, accused of being a sexual offender, imprisoned but he later rose to be the Prime Minister of Egypt. While the success he achieves in the latter half of his life is enviable the journey is not. What amazes me is how God’s plan is reflected in the life of Joseph and how we can co-relate this to our daily lives.
1)When you are betrayed, despised and forsaken, don’t worry it is God’s plan: After all even Joseph was despised by his own brothers for being their father’s favourite son. His strange and unique dream in which his brothers lay prostrate before him was unacceptable to them. On getting a chance, they planned to kill him. But God intervened in the form of Reuben who advised his brothers that Joseph should be rather thrown into a pit. Then again God intervened in the form of better wisdom and he was later sold to the Ishmaelites traders for 20 shekels
I cannot even begin to fathom the tumultuous emotions ravaging the mind of Joseph as he was thrown into the pit. He must have been devastated by the betrayal of his brothers. He would have cried and asked God to come to his aid immediately. His faith in God must have certainly wavered when he discovers that far from him being released his harrowing ordeal was only to further intensify. Betrayed and disowned by his own blood he was now sold to be a slave. He must have asked: “Why God Why?” He must have cried out “Oh God! Help me and deliver me from this.” He must have asked: “God, where are you when I need you the most?” But God seemed to be silent at that moment. On reading the full story, we come to realise that it was part of God’s larger plan that Joseph be sold as a slave. Joseph’s ancestor Abraham was cursed by the Lord that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years. And in Joseph’s misery and sorrow the foundation for God’s purpose was laid.
In life, it does not matter how difficult the journey is but where you arrive at the end. Like Joseph, you may have been betrayed by someone, you may have been forsaken by the one you love or you may have been despised by your peers. Even your best friend might turn his back on you when you need him the most. Don’t worry, look up to Jesus and remember that everything happens according to His plan. You may not see a way, you may not see an open door but God has already chosen the path for you. He knows what is best for you. Fortified by faith you must be willing to walk in God’s plan for your life. God will make your journey worthwhile
2) When loved ones forsake and forget you, do not be anguished: When Joseph was in prison, he interpreted a dream for the king’s cup bearer. He told him that he would be out prison and requested him to remember this favour afterwards so that he too could get out of prison. But the cup bearer forgot him once he was out of prison. However God did not. He renewed the memory of the cupbearer at the right time following which Joseph was released from prison. This was just the catalyst for his meteoric rise from being a prisoner to Prime Minister in a span of 24 hours. The years of sorrow and pain were all undone in one day!
Maybe you have been helping others regularly, maybe you have been kind to all but all that you have received in return is criticism and hatred. You may be judged and found to be wanting for no fault of yours. All this could be very painful in life. However, all your good deeds are known by the Lord. Be still and know that our Lord knows when to return the favour that you have done in His name. Sometimes, God purposely closed some doors so that you can go to the right door. Move up and move on and take a faith walk with God. With God your adversity can turn into blessing. Your pain can be later turn out to be your gain. Their goodbyes can turn out to be the best parting gift that you have received in your life.
3)When the Lord is with you, you will find help comes from unexpected quarters. The slave Joseph was favoured by his masters. God was the reason why Joseph achieved success and earned the trust of those around him. He was favoured to the extent that he was appointed the house overseer and in-charge of all the properties. Even in prison, the Lord gave him a favour in the sight of the keeper of prison and as a result Joseph was made in-charge of all the prisoners.
As it is clearly written in the Bible “Seek ye first the kingdom and His righteousness”. When the Lord is with us, we will find favours from different quarters and in our material, spiritual and physical well being. Our work environment will be different; the way how we lived our lives will be changed for the better. You may be doing well in your life, but it will get better. In God’s helm, there is always room for progress.
4)God’s timing is not early but it is neither late: Joseph was 17 when his ordeals began. He was 30 years old when he was made Prime Minister of Egypt. He named his first born Manasseh meaning ‘God has made me forget all my hardship’. The journey of 13 years from a pit winds up in a palace at the right time. It ended when Joseph could be prepared for the great famine to come upon the land.
Some of us may be thinking ‘How long do I have to suffer this pain? When will I get emotional healing from this painful experience? When will I get a job when all my friends have got it? When will I overcome the painful memory that always haunts me? When will I recover from this sickness that inflicts me? When will God grant my prayer request?’ In our impatience we usually feel that God is late in answering our prayers. We sometimes do not his feel his presence when we need him the most. However, God is never late. He is always on time. We will see deliverance at the exact time when it is best for us. It is written 'faith can move mountains'. The mountain refers not to the physical mountain but the mountain of problems, difficulties, obstacles, troubles that we face in life. All we have to do is have unflinching faith in Him. In the end, we will look back into our lives and see that God has indeed walk with us and is always with us in our journey. We will receive His blessings which we too can give a name like Manasseh.