Summary: What looks like just an accident. When viewed through human eyes,Is really God at work in us-- His blessing in disguise

Let God Guide You As He Led Joseph

Genesis 37:1-38

Illustration: When a cowboy applied for an insurance policy, the agent asked, "Have you ever had any accidents?" After a moment’s reflection, the applicant responded, "Nope, but a bronc did kick in two of my ribs last summer, and a couple of years ago a rattlesnake bit me on the ankle."

"Wouldn’t you call those accidents?" replied the puzzled agent. "Naw," the cowboy said, "they did it on purpose!"

That story reminds me of the biblical truth that there are no accidents in the lives of God’s children. In today’s Scripture, we read how Joseph interpreted a difficult experience that had seemed like a great calamity. He had been thrown into a pit and then sold as a slave. This was a great test of his faith, and from the human standpoint it appeared to be a tragic case of injustice, not a providential means of blessing. But Joseph later learned that "God meant it for good" (Gen. 50:20).

Perhaps you are passing through the deep waters of trial and disappointment? Does everything seem to be going against you? These apparent misfortunes are not accidents. The Lord allows such things for a blessed purpose. So, patiently trust Him. If you know the Lord, someday you will praise Him for it all!

What looks like just an accident

When viewed through human eyes,

Is really God at work in us--

His blessing in disguise. --Sper

God transforms trials into triumphs. (Our Daily Bread)

1. The Holy Spirit led Joseph in many ways, but chose to speak to him through dreams. Moses wrote, "Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, ‘We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.’ He brothers said to him, ‘Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule over us? And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said." (Gen. 37:5-8) Even when others tend to misunderstand and criticize you for your God given directions, ask the Lord to allow you to persevere in your belief that He will perfect the plans that He has called you to accomplish.

2. The Holy Spirit continued to speak to Joseph in ways that seemed to bring great distress to Joseph. Moses wrote, "Then Joseph had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘I had another dream and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’ When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you? His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind." (Gen. 37:9-11) Ask the Lord to help you to be obedient to the God regardless of family pressures to go along with traditional cultural practices and customs of cooperation.

3. The Holy Spirit may choose to bless you through the most unusual of pathways, as He did by allowing Joseph to be sold into slavery within Egypt. Moses wrote, "Judah said to his brothers, ‘What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood! Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. They sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt." (Gen 37:36-38) Ask the Lord to carry out His plans for your life regardless of the betrayal, distress or persecution it may bring your way.

4. The Holy Spirit gave Joseph a legacy as one of the most Christ like people of the Old Testament because of his willingness to make the most of every situation. Moses wrote, "When Joseph’s brothers came and threw themselves down before him they said, ‘We are your slaves.’ But Joseph said to them, ‘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." (Gen. 50:19-21) Ask the Lord to help you model your leadership after Joseph’s Christ like willingness to adapt, remain teachable and open to making the most of every God-directed situation.

5. The Holy Spirit gives us personal and organizational goals that others may misunderstand and try to oppose. God’s Spirit wants us to press ahead with our God inspired purposes as Joseph did regardless of what others might say or do to block our progress. Moses wrote, "So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. Here comes that dreamer, they said to each other. Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams." (Gen. 37:17-19) Ask the Lord to help you press ahead with your God given personal and organizational goals regardless of the fierce opposition that you encounter.

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