Summary: A man or woman who is rooted in Christ can stand the winds and the storms of life.
"19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them." Genesis 50:19-21.
Driven by hatred, jealousy, and anger, Joseph’s brothers conspired against him. They sold their brother into slavery for twenty shekels of silver. In the end, Joseph ended up in Egypt. The beloved son of Jacob became a slave in the house of Potiphar. Yet there he found grace. And lustful glances from Potiphar's wife, too. She made her intention known to him. But he rejected her severally. So Joseph was wrongly accused of rape and unjustly imprisoned. Potiphar's wife cooked up a lie against him and they believed her story. They put chains around his feet and an iron ring around his neck. But God was with him! Even when he was discouraged, Joseph remained faithful and confident in God. Eventually, God gave him favor with Pharaoh, and he was brought out of the prison. Joseph was promoted to the position of second in command to Pharaoh. Some years later, Joseph’s brothers arrive in Egypt in search of food because there is a famine in Canaan. He recognizes them but they didn’t recognize him. These were the brothers who had tried to kill him. Thus Joseph was given his chance to get revenge. But he did no such thing! Joseph chose forgiveness over condemnation. They deserved his wrath. Instead, they received love. He was presented with an opportunity to make his brothers pay for the years he suffered. Instead, he chose reconciliation. They deserved to be punished for what they did to him. Yet, Joseph extended mercy to them. Even though he was wounded, he didn’t allow bitterness to consume him. He was struck down multiple times. But Joseph refused to stay down. And that should be our attitude.
"19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken." Psalm 34:19-20.
The word ‘affliction” used here is translated as suffering, pressure, anguish, trouble, or persecution. misery, hardship, pain, distress, misfortune, or tribulation. What affliction are you going through right now? Everyone experiences pain and trials! Even when you're closely following God, you'll face discouraging situations. It could be a job loss, failing health, loss of a loved one, or relationship crisis. Perhaps you are dealing with broken dreams or broken marriage. In such times, it's easy to get discouraged and give up. But like Joseph, you do have a choice. You can rest in the fact that God will deliver you and help you. You're not alone in your trials! God's near. He may allow you to be bruised, but He won't allow you to be damaged beyond repair.
"8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— " 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
Apostle Paul had every reason to stop doing the work of God. Yet he remained firm. He had every cause to quit, but he just kept going. When circumstances knock us down, we don’t have to quit or give up. We may be perplexed, with no clear path or course of action or solution in sight, but we do not despair. "He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God," Romans 4:20.
1. Come to Jesus. Even when you have made a mess of your life, God can repair and bring healing.
2. Repent and received God's forgiveness.
3. Let go of bitterness. If anyone had a right to feel bitter, angry, and betrayed, it was Joseph. Instead, he spent each painful day trusting God to work it all out. Bitterness blinds you to the greater future ahead of you.
4. Forgive. Just as Christ has freely forgiven us, so we need to forgive. Matthew 6:12.
5. Keep praying.
6. Persevere. Joseph was thrown in a prison, but he did not give up. Don't give up!
7. Read the Word daily. When we're rooted in the Word we're better equipped to bounce right up.
8. Don't stop trusting God and His promises. Faith is trusting God regardless of the circumstances.
9. Give thanks to God always. Remember Paul and Silas. Acts 16:25-26.
10. Maintain a positive attitude.
11. Know that God is with you. No matter how dark it may seem, He will walk through it with you.