Used By God (Joseph ) Part 2
It’s so easy for us to become discouraged when bad times fall upon us. In the 21st century, as an American, we don’t experience what Joseph experienced, but we do experience issues at work, problems at home, bad doctor diagnosis. Just this past year, we thought we would experience a repeat of the roaring 20s, but instead, we experience a mix of the civil war and the depression all in 2020. What can we learn from the Life of Joseph as it relates to our 21st-century life?
Genesis 39 is our text…
Joseph has every reason to not trust God. To completely reject the God of his father and accept the gods of Egypt. His own brothers sold him away like an animal and the Egyptian buyers placed him in the house of an Egyptian Master. To try to understand this in our 21st-century mind. Imagine an adviser or a general of the US Army getting a 17-year-old boy from Iran and letting him be a servant of some kind at the white-house. This is a similar picture of what is happening right here. It’s crazy!
Where is God?
After 9/11 a major question was “Where is God in all this?”. The answer is ‘everywhere’. God was comforting the brokenhearted, he was crying with the mourners, he was there healing the pain in the heart of those who lost loved ones. God might not stop evil right away, but he will be with you in the bad times. In verse 2 it says, “The Lord was with Joseph”. The Lord is with you too in the middle of your pain, doubt, and fear. Might not look like God is with you, but he is and he won’t forsake you either. The bible goes on to say that “he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master”. In the middle of the doubt, fear, the darkness in Joseph’s life, God was with him, and even as a slave, God was leading him. Leading him even as a slave. Think about that. God was positioning Joseph in the places and in front of people for a purpose. He can and maybe even has done the same for us when things seem the darkest, God seems to shine the light that is brightest.
Do people around you see Jesus in you?
Jesus calls us the light of the world, city on a hill, and salt of the world. Jesus is calling us to action. He is calling us to be an ambassador. To represent him in our workplace, homes, churches, grocery stores, and everywhere else we are sent. We are called to be his witnesses to this world. Do people around you see Jesus in you? Joseph’s Master saw Jesus in him. It says, verse 3, “His master saw that the Lord was with him and caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.” Is that your reputation at work? At Home? At Life?
When I was 19, I was offered a support manager position every 3 months. I turned it down. I accepted the job at 20 years old. Later on, I quit and left the company. I came back and went to another location. I was trying to not be a manager anymore. Well, in this new location, my bosses saw how good I was and I ended up getting promoted again. I think I got about 4 raises that one year, 3 or 4 promotions in the whole time with Walmart. My career ended when I went to one store and had my military status mentioned all the time and they would tell me to leave my military personality at home. So I left the company for good. The point of this story is, my bosses saw Jesus in me and my faith reflected my work and I prospered. I want to challenge you to do that same thing in your workplace.
The devil Is going to hate you!
Part of being a Christian is that the devil is going to try to destroy you. Jesus said, “A theft comes to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10. We saw the devil in the creation story, he came and destroyed, stole, and killed the perfect life Adam and Eve had. He comes all throughout the bible to try to destroy anything that is good. We see it here in Genesis 39, Joseph is prosperous and won the favor of his master, but the devil hates it. So he tries to use the wife of his master to destroy everything Joseph had, but it doesn’t work, so instead, she lies about Joseph trying to rape her and that lie costs Joseph everything. Joseph did nothing wrong. He didn’t deserve to be sold into slavery and he didn’t deserve to be put into prison. Here is the key thing we must understand, God was still with Joseph and continued to use Joseph and make him succeed in all he did and God continued to give whoever was his master’s favor over him, as a slave and now as a prisoner.
During these seasons in your life, where you feel like God has forsaken you. I want to make it clear that God is with you and if you would only trust him during these dark seasons, know that he is more than willing to bring you to the other side. I have seen this time and time again during the dark season of my life. Faced unemployment, car accidents and I was on the edge of getting discharged from the marines because I was hurt badly and I started to fail the fitness test, but in these moments, I trusted and waited on God and He always came through, but in the moments I waited, I also worked. I worked out to get my fitness better and I went to dealerships to try to find a new car, I applied for jobs everywhere until a door opened.
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