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Growth through Trials

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The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master

Genesis 39:2

The story of Joseph reveals God’s plan through difficult trials.  We read about God’s people in the Bible such as David, the apostle Paul, Job, and Ruth, but do we really understand the fearful difficulties they went through?  They were people just like us and they lived through tragedies and fearful times, but one thing they all had in common, they kept their faith in God.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers at the age of seventeen. Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites. (Genesis 37:27)  Joseph’s brothers sold him to an Ishmaelite caravan where he was sold in Egypt as a slave.  Joseph is now imprisoned in a caravan as a slave, and he is alone and has no idea of his future.

Joseph at this young age continued his faith in God Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. (Genesis 39: 1)  Joseph is now in Egypt as a slave to Potiphar who is the captain of the guard.  The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. (Genesis 39:2)  Joseph not only kept his faith in God he did his best in all he did.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, (Colossians 3:23)

The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Genesis 39:5-6)  God blessed Joseph because he never lost faith and did his best at everything as working for the Lord.

Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph and she said “Come to bed with me!”  But Joseph refused; How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”(Genesis 39:9)  Potiphar’s wife lied about Joseph and said he attacked her, and the result was Joseph was cast into prison.

But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. (Genesis 39:20-22)  Once again, people saw that God was with Joseph and gave him success.

God interpreted dreams for Joseph and he explained the dream to the Egyptian Pharaoh.  The dream was about a seven year famine in the future and God gave Joseph the plan for having food during the seven years.  Therefore, Pharaoh made Joseph second in command of all Egypt for the remaining years of his life. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours. (Genesis 41:38-40) Joseph brought his family to live in Egypt; and the Jews remained in Egypt for four hundred years.

Joseph endured thirteen years of a difficult, fearful life while God molded him, and at the age of thirty he become second in command of Egypt.  During our times of difficulty, we strengthen our faith and we do our best to serve the Lord.  Then, like Joseph, God will use all things to mold us to be like Jesus. It’s through the difficult times in life that we can spiritually grow, if we continue in our faith.

Today, walk in faith and give your best in everything you do.  The blessing from the Lord will help you in all you do and he will fill your soul with his love, peace, joy, and the assurance that Heaven is your home. He will give you endurance and patience to overcome anything in this life.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to grow spiritually during this difficult time. In Jesus’ name, Amen