If you don't already know I have taken up the 90 Day Challenge! Sounds fun right? ;) Well the 90 Day Challenge is reading the Bible in, you said it, 90 days. Of course, I am behind...the story of my life. But I came across something very interesting a few days ago that got me thinking and decided to share with you.
If you are interested in the 90 Day challenge head over here to get the dirt. You can start any day and make your own 90 day challenge!
So anyway I was finishing up the book of Genesis and came to the story of Jacob's son Joseph. This is of course a story that many of us are familiar with. Does Joseph and the coat of many colors ring a bell?? And no not Joseph and the Techni-color dream coat...haha.
This story of course follows the life of Joseph, the youngest son of Jacob (Or Israel), and the ups and downs of his experiences. Joseph was his fathers favorite son and all the other brothers envied him for this. One day the brothers decide to sell Joseph into slavery and he is carried down to Egypt.
While in Egypt, God's hand is over him and he prospers. Over time, with God's doing, he becomes second in command only below Pharaoh himself! A famine spreads throughout the land and his brothers are forced to go to Egypt to buy food from one of the last places in their world that had food. Once here Joseph's brothers run into Joseph and then we see an amazing thing...
Joseph forgives his brothers! Last time he saw his brothers they were probably grinning viciously at him while they tied his hands up and handed him over to horrible slave traders. Joseph was ripped out of his home, his culture, and even seperated from his language. For all he knew he would never see any of his family ever again. But God is good and he had a plan in mind for Joseph.
This is where Joseph's true godly nature comes through. His brothers are naturally very scared that their younger brother who is in such a position of authority will now kill them for what they have done. But this is not the reaction Joseph has. Rather he says, "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you" (Genesis 45:5)
Wow, can you image the faith that this statement takes to utter? Joseph is essentially telling them not to worry that they plotted to kill him and then sold him into slavery effectively changing his life for ever! No, instead he has a godly response and recognizes that that evil turned into something good and that God is sovereign throughout the entire thing.
God is in control and knows all. His hand was in every single little detail of Joseph's life and he recognizes that fact. Joseph must have been an incredibly humble to have been able to react this way. Joseph later goes on to say, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God?You intended to harm me , but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them" (Genesis 50:19-21).
Can you image if we all responded that way?
I know that I have definitely held on to something much longer for something much smaller many times. And yet, Joseph sees his life in the greater context of God's plan. How many times does God use a situation so bleak to create something so beautiful? And yet we are so often tied up in our own daily life that we often fail to see this beauty come out of the ashes.
Our God is a great God and I strive to remember that each and every day!
"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." Colossians 3:23-24