Have you ever loved someone who didn't love you back? Would it be safe to say that you had a reason to be bitter if your family didn't love you? What if the hatred that they had for you burned so deeply that they would rather send you away or would even go as far as to pretend that you were dead? That would have to be depressing for anyone.
Joseph had to have felt discouraged at some point throughout his trials. Here is this young boy who loved his family so deeply. He had a heart to serve the Lord and because of it, he received favor. Favor in the eyes of his earthly father as well as his Heavenly Father. Through no fault of his own, except for his excellent spirit, Joseph was loved beyond comprehension by his father, Jacob. God also chose to reveal his future plans to Joseph by speaking to him in his dreams. There had to be a certain naivety that Joseph possessed, or maybe it was just the excitement of what God had revealed to him that he couldn't keep to himself. Nevertheless, it probably should have run across his mind that his already jealous brothers wouldn't take too kindly to him telling them that they would bow down to him one day.
This of course, intensified his brothers' hatred and jealousy and caused them to cook up a scheme to get rid of him. As a result of this, he was thrown in a pit, taken from his home, made a slave, and imprisoned. In the midst of all of these trials, however, Joseph stayed faithful to God. This would be the time where most of us would be feeling sorry for ourselves and trying to get out of this situation by any means necessary. Even when his employer's beautiful wife threatened him if he didn't sleep with her, Joseph adhered to what was right. Think of all the physical and financial perks of having a wealthy, influential man's wife as a mistress. Unfortunately, a lot of men whether they were Christian or not, would succumb to this woman's constant enticement. Joseph chose to go to prison rather than turn his back on God or betraying a man who trusted him.
The irony of the situation is that those same dreams that landed him in that pit and in his imprisoned state were able to help him out of his situation. Joseph was able to interpret the Pharaoh's dreams and was not only freed from prison, but he found favor in the eyes of the Pharaoh and became the second most powerful man in a land that wasn't even the place that he called home. When circumstances allowed Joseph to reunite with his brothers, they didn't even recognize him. Joseph was now in a position to make or break them. This was the perfect time to carry out a plan of revenge. For Joseph, however, the past was to be left behind. Even though he might have been disappointed in his brothers, he loved his family and he knew that if he had not obeyed God, he wouldn't be in this great position now. He was able to understand that you sometimes have to go through trials and tribulation to get to the place that God wants you to be. It was all a part of God's plan for his life, so he was able to embrace his brothers and be with his family. Most importantly, he was able to forgive them and love them unconditionally. Besides, why should he focus on the past, when his future was looking so bright?
It would be so pleasing to God if we could all take on this attitude and look beyond our circumstances. He would be so pleased if we could all just wait on Him and forgive those who wrong us. If we allow His plans for our lives to unfold, every wrong will be made right and we will be blessed.
Genesis Chapters 37-47
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Shakera Reid was born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Miramar, Florida. Her passion in life is counseling and educating youth. Hobbies include traveling, writing and watching movies. Her hope is to encourage others through her writing and to help them in their Christian walk.
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