“The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.”
- Genesis 39:2
I am a planner. I work hard. In fact, I intentionally spend much of my time trying to plan for my life, my needs, my wants, and my future. There is a lot of hope, a lot of work, and a lot of worries that go along with this planning. I put a lot of effort to what I do in order to accomplish a life for myself. Remarkably but not surprisingly, many of the best successes and achievements in my life were things I did not expect. God always lead me to a path I never thought of, and so many times, His plans are far better than I imagined. I just have to surrender and submit to His plans.
Such is the lesson in studying the life of Joseph, a beloved son of Jacob. Joseph was unexpectedly sold by his brothers into slavery. However, because God was with him, Joseph succeeded in serving his master and was given an opportunity to manage his master's household. He was then unexpectedly and wrongfully thrown in jail, where he also found favour with the prison warden and helped manage the prison, where he met the Pharaoh's cup bearer and baker. This opportunity eventually led him to successfully interpret the Pharaoh's dreams, and the Pharaoh put him second in command in Egypt, to plan for a famine, saving many, including Joseph's own family.
In a previous blog, we had explored the idea of God having plans for us. It's more than that though -- Joseph succeeds not by his efforts. In revisiting the story of Joseph, let's go deeper and now consider the perspective of how success for Joseph came due to God's plan and Joseph's reliance and faith with God. When Joseph interprets dreams, for example, he often attributes his skills and his success to God. He will say "Interpreting dreams is God's business". In Genesis 41:16, it states, "It is beyond my power to do this,", Joseph replied. "But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease."
Joseph was humble and credits God, and in turn, God blesses him. God works through us.
In chapter 45 of Genesis, Joseph reveals his identity to his family members who have come to buy grain during their times of need during the famine. In this emotional moment of reuniting with the brothers who had sold him, he urges his brothers not to be upset for what they have done, but instead affirms his belief that this was God's plan all along to put Joseph in a position where he can help people in and around Egypt through the family, and to preserve his family. All of those moments of struggles and hardship put Joseph at the right place and the right time, and he excels by depending on God's power. In the end, by relying on God and trusting in God's plan, God had blessed him and given him success. The story of Joseph is one where we can learn that God has the bigger picture in mind, and that he has a plan for us that will lead us to new heights. We just have to trust in Him.
Reflection: Where in your life have you succeeded not because of your on your own volition, but because of God's remarkable plan? How can this knowledge help you ease you in your worries about the future?
Thank you, Karyn Lau, for your wise Christian advice. Read more Christian Bible study articles like this one on Calm Christian Music and listen to Christian songs, Christian praise and worship music, devotional Christian songs, and Bible audiobooks. Learn how Christian songs and relaxing music can be used for meditation and healing.