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Life Lessons from Joseph (Part IX of XII)

Life Lessons from Joseph (Part IX of XII)

Genesis 39:21, But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and the Lord gave Joseph favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. The up and down life of Joseph was once again down — and it was about to get lower. Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker had been thrown in prison for offending Pharaoh. They each had an unusual dream and they asked Joseph to interpret their dreams for them. With the inspiration of God, Joseph told the chief baker his dream meant he was going to be executed and he told the chief butler his dream meant he would be fully restored to his former position in Pharaoh’s court. Joseph pleaded with the chief butler to remember him and show kindness to him by mentioning his situation to Pharaoh. Genesis 40:23, Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. (Because of this, Joseph remained in prison for another two years.) Since God was constantly with Joseph from the waterless pit to an Egyptian prison cell, why did God allow so much trouble and temptation to come into Joseph’s life? I strongly believe it was God’s method to see whether Joseph was truly fit to become ruler of Egypt, surpassed only by Pharaoh. The trials, tribulations and temptations in the life of Joseph and his Godly and noble reaction to those tests showed God that Joseph could be trusted with power, prestige and position. And so it is with each of us. God wants His children to be all He created us to be. One way to accomplish this is when God allows hardships and sorrows to be part of our lives, to shape and strengthen our faith, commitment and character. Even after all his failures, John Wesley’s diary (discussed in part VI) shows the very next time Wesley went out to preach after his latest rejection, ten thousand people came out to hear him. Furthermore, it is through the testing of our faith that we learn to trust God. Conversely, it is through the testing of our faith that God sees that He can trust us. When that kind of Godly relationship is established, God’s power and presence will always persevere in our lives, and our faith will not fail in the face of evil. When our faith is like the faith of Joseph, it becomes easier to handle waterless pits and dark dungeons. Next time: The brothers ...

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