By Sandy White (This is the first of two parts of what Sandy has learned from the life of Joseph.)
James 1:3 reminds us that God allows our faith to be tested so we will produce endurance. The Bible refers to this as leading one to spiritual maturity and inner peace. What a wonderful promise. It is easier to accept hard times when you know something good will come from it. Yet, how do we truly know if our hard times are the result of testing, that God is with us?
My faith assures me that God has a plan, He will take care of His children and He has full control… Even when we know this, don’t the reality of this world lead us to question? I truly believe I have been tested before, yet I always had that “security blanket” to fall back on… just in case. There is nothing to catch me, this time, but my faith in God.
Jeremiah 29:11 confirms that the Lord has plans for us. Plans that are good and give us a future of hope not to harm us.
In Genesis 37, Joseph believed his dreams were from God. His brothers hated him because of it and his father rebuked him, as they created great reason to fear causing insecurity. Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him they were going to kill him, but brother Ruben suggested they just throw him into an empty cistern. The brothers agreed, did it and sat down to eat.
Can you picture Joseph in that dark hole? What was he thinking? Was he remembering the dreams he had of reigning over his brothers and thinking he was mistaken or did he look to God and know that He was going to make his dreams come true? Joseph never knew how God would work, yet the story implies that Joseph simply trusted God.
Maybe Joseph saw it as God’s plan when Judah, one of the brothers, convinced the others to sell Joseph to the group of Ishmaelite traders that were driving by.
Do you find yourself looking at the circumstances around you instead of trusting God and seeing Him at work? The first thought was to kill Joseph, but I believe God intervened and spared his life. It is only after you know the whole story do you see this.
Sandy White has been attending Grace for just about year.