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Date: November 10

Category: The Goodness of God

Genesis 39:2-3
"But the Lord was with Joseph, and he [though a slave] was a successful and prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to flourish and succeed in his hand."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiJoseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. His jealous brothers sold him into slavery. Even though Joseph encountered very hard times in his life, the Bible says that he was very successful. It says in verse 2a, "But the Lord was with Joseph, and he [though a slave] was a successful and prosperous man." In fact, he was so prosperous that his master took notice of him. Verse 3 says, "And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to flourish and succeed in his hand." Joseph succeeded in all that he did even after he was so wrongfully treated by his brothers. Later on in the chapter, we read that his master mistreated him as well and put him in prison. Verse 23 says, "The prison warden paid no attention to anything that was in [Joseph's] charge, for the Lord was with him and made whatever he did to prosper." So even in jail, Joseph was still prosperous.

What made Joseph so prosperous even though many bad things happened to him? Well one thing to notice is that Joseph never became resentful at anyone for any wrongful thing that he experienced. Even though his brothers did such wicked things to him, he never became angry. Even when Joseph confronted his brothers he said, "As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are this day." (Genesis 50:20)

Even though Joseph's brother purposed to do evil against him, God was able to bring good out of it. God is never the author of evil, but He's always the author of good. In Romans 8:28 we read, "We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose." Paul didn't say that everything that happens to us is good. He said that everything works together FOR good to those who love God. So even though bad things happened to Joseph, he always kept his faith strong because he knew God had a good purpose intended for him.

Joseph saw the hand of God in every situation in his life even though most of those situations were negative. He didn't interpret his experiences based on his natural senses. He interpreted his experiences based on his faith in God. He saw his situation from God's perspective, and he knew God had a good purpose for him. All human life is on one side of the tapestry. On the other side of the tapestry is God. If we don't include God in that tapestry, then we're going to interpret every situation based on human understanding. That will sometimes cause us to be resentful and bitter. But if we look at our situation from the perspective of God, then we will experience the good things that God can bring out of every evil situation.

Another thing that helped Joseph succeed is found in Genesis 41:48. "And he gathered up all the [surplus] food of the seven [good] years in the land of Egypt and stored up the food in the cities; he stored away in each city the food from the fields around it." So not only was Joseph a forgiving man who saw the hand of God in every life situation, he was also a prudent and a diligent man. He knew there was going to be seven bad years after the seven good years, so he planned ahead and stored up. That careful action that he took played a key role in his success and prosperity. Because he took that prudent action, even though seven bad years of famine hit, Joseph was still prosperous.

So we can learn from this example of Joseph that even though storms and trials may come our way, even though disasters may hit, God still has a good purpose intended for us. But we need to keep our hearts from becoming bitter and see His hand in every life situation. Also, we need to plan ahead and be diligent. When we do all these things, then we will see the power of God bring good things out from every situation in our lives.

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Devotionals Categories

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