Life lessons from Joseph

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8: 28

Apr 26, 2024

Mustard Seed Journeys - Joanne Wong
I am not sure about you but the thought “life isn’t fair” and “why me God?” crosses my mind several times a day, even though my life when I think about it, is a pretty good one and I really do have nothing to complain about – but I do unfortunately – and am trying my best to change that and be grateful for all that I have.

I recently had a chance to deep dive into the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis (Genesis 37-50) and this simple story unearthed a lot of points to ponder, especially about God’s plans and purpose for us. So, allow me to share what I learnt from the story of Joseph (besides him having a technicolour coat):

Forgiveness: Joseph forgave his brothers for their betrayal and the pain they caused him. When Jacob, their father died, Joseph’s brothers were worried that Joseph will pay them back for all the hateful things they had done to him, but Joseph reassured his brothers that he would take care of them and their families. True forgiveness is possible, and it can bring healing and restoration to relationships. Always choose forgiveness and mercy to those who wrong you even though this can be the hardest thing to do.

Faith and trust: Joseph had faith in God and trusted in Him. Even though his brothers threw Joseph into a pit and left him to die, and the Ishmaelite traders sold him into slavery, and even when he was falsely accused and imprisoned – through every step of his journey, Joseph never lost faith in God.

Perseverance and patience: Joseph persevered and was patient through all his challenges and he kept his faith in God. Despite things not going the way he wanted, Joseph always found a way to bounce back from difficult circumstances without complaining. He was patiently waiting for God’s plan and purpose to come true.

Being trustworthy: Joseph was a trustworthy man. From the time Joseph was living at home with his family, to being a slave, to being put into prison, to interpreting dreams, to being put into second in command of all Egypt.

Obedience: Joseph was obedient when his father wanted him to go and see how his brothers were doing while feeding the flock in Shechem. Joseph was also obedient to his master in Egypt, and he refused to engage in sin against God with Potiphar’s wife.

Compassion: Joseph showed compassion towards his family and moved them from Canaan to Egypt where he could provide them with food despite all that they had done to him.

Hard work and integrity: Joseph worked hard and had integrity. As a slave in the house of Potiphar, he became the overseer of his entire household. When he was a prisoner, he found favour with the prison keeper and was running the prison even though he was a prisoner himself. He then gets elevated to become Pharaoh’s right-hand man. He continued to make the right choices and do the right thing by the grace of God.

Leadership and wisdom: God gave Joseph wisdom and a heart to lead. Joseph’s wisdom and ability to lead and guide others made him an able and influential leader in Egypt. He stored the grains when there were years of plenty.

Joseph used his talents and abilities. God gives us many gifts to serve others and to bring glory to God. Joseph used his gift of interpreting drams to help others and to bring God’s will to life. We should think about the talents, abilities, and blessings that God has given us and find ways to serve others.

Oh, what a drama-filled life Joseph led, with its many twists and turns, and yet, through it all, Joseph was faithful to God and God never abandoned him. No matter the circumstances or actions of others, God accomplished His purpose for Joseph and prepared a path for him, and He will do the same for us even though at times His plans and purpose for us are not revealed … or perhaps if we are honest with ourselves, we are avoiding His plans for us.

So dear friends, let us cling to God’s Word and His promises, and let us keep looking to the future knowing God’s promises are real and will never fail. Let us be like Joseph and become an example and an encouragement to others.

Putting our trust and having faith in God is so, so tough, especially in a time of so many uncertainties but let Jesus be in the driver’s seat. “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

Seven life lessons to remember from the story of Joseph:

1. God is with us, even when our circumstances suggest otherwise.

2. Rely on God’s guidance – He will help prepare your future for you.

3. Do what is right and pleasing to God, regardless of the consequences (always obey His commandments).

4. Forgiveness should be extended even if it’s the hardest thing to do.

5. God uses ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.

6. In the storms of life, in your darkest moments, cling to God’s promises because He is with you.

7. God has a purpose for our suffering, so don’t give up – you may not recognise it right away. Bad things can work for good in the end.

(Joanne Wong is on a journey towards having faith the size of a mustard seed. She welcomes thoughts and suggestions on how to have a closer walk with God. Email her at [email protected])

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