Joseph’s brothers despised him because he was their father’s favorite of the twelve. Because of their father’s open partiality, the brothers hated Joseph and would not even say a kind word to him.
Then one night Joseph shared a dream with his brothers.
“We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” Genesis 37:7 NLT
Well, this stirred up Joseph’s brothers’ hatred toward him even more. They said to him, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” (Genesis 37:8 NLT)
Sometime later Joseph had another dream with the same meaning. This caused the brothers to become even more jealous of him.
After that, the brothers went out to pasture their father’s flocks. They had been gone for some time without a report. So, Joseph’s father sent him out to check on his brothers.
Once Joseph found his brothers, they plotted to kill him. However, one of the brothers convinced the others to throw Joseph in a cistern to leave him to die. But then they saw the traders coming by and sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver. The traders took Joseph to Egypt where he was to be sold.
At seventeen, Joseph became a slave in a foreign country. Joseph was purchased by Potiphar, the captain of the guard for Pharaoh.
At this point, when something tragic happens or life does not work out the way we envision it, we must make a choice.
We can either trust God to work out the circumstances or we can turn away from God.
Trusting God leads to deeper intimacy in our relationship with the Lord. Turning away from God allows a root of bitterness to separate us from the Lord and His plans for us.
Joseph trusted God.
“The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” (Genesis 39:2 NLT)
Potiphar recognized God’s favor on Joseph and promoted him to be his personal attendant. Joseph was placed in charge of Potiphar’s entire household.
Things seemed to be going well for Joseph considering he was an Egyptian slave. Joseph was given complete administrative responsibility over the household. He was trusted by his master.
But just when we think we got things under control, another test may come along. Potiphar’s wife began to long for Joseph for he was quite a handsome young man. When Joseph refused to sleep with her, he fled the room leaving his cloak behind.
When Potiphar’s wife realized, she had Joseph’s cloak, she cried out and accused him of attempted rape.
Joseph landed in prison over this false accusation. Once again, Joseph had a choice to make—trust God or be bitter about it.
“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden.” Genesis 39:21 NLT
Because the favor of the Lord was upon Joseph, the warden placed Joseph over the other prisoners. God caused Joseph to succeed even while in prison.
When we place our trust in God, His favor will cause us to succeed. It doesn’t matter where we live—in prison or outside prison.
When inmates trust God they prosper in prison. I hear testimonies of inmates receiving favor upon them to preach at services when that’s typically not allowed. My son has a teaching gift and started tutoring other inmates so they can pass their GED exam. Now the education department has set it up so that this has become his job.
When we as family members trust God, we prosper in our lives. God gives us the grace and wisdom to grow in His counsel. Personally, God’s blessed me with a work as a virtual assistant working from home for a company half-way across the country. This came after I made the choice to trust God with my son in prison.
When difficulties arrive, we have a choice—trust God or be bitter. Resolve to trust God.
© 2017 Shonda Savage