Adversity. It is certainly not welcomed in anyone’s life, but it finds its way into all of our lives. As hard as we try to avoid it, it seems there are just times when we have to climb uphill. Joseph was no stranger to adversity. The Bible tells his story in Genesis 38-50.
He was loved by his father, and as a young man, Joseph’s brothers grew to hate him. Joseph was the favored child and his brothers didn’t care for that. When given the opportunity, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, and Joseph was placed in Potiphar’s home.
He was in charge of Potiphar’s household and the Lord blessed Joseph’s work. He was also good looking, so Potiphar’s wife wanted to go to bed with him. Joseph refused so one day she tried to force him, but Joseph escaped. Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of rape. This accusation resulted in Joseph being sent to prison.
While in prison Joseph interpreted some dreams for fellow prisoners. These prisoners turned out to be some of Pharaoh’s officials, and Joseph’s relationship placed him in front of Pharaoh to interpret a dream.
Joseph told Pharaoh his dream was a warning that famine would strike Egypt. Joseph encouraged Pharaoh to prepare for the famine, and he was given the responsibility to prepare the nation. Joseph did and the Lord blessed his work. Joseph gained much power and pull with Pharaoh.
Eventually, everyone ran out of food and Joseph’s family was moved to Egypt. When Joseph’s dad dies, his brothers are fearful Joseph will seek revenge, but he doesn’t. Notice his response in Genesis 50:20:
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Joseph remembered the Lord had a plan as he went through all of the adversity his life brought him. It has been said the iron chains around Joseph’s hands and feet in prison led to gold chains around his neck in the palace. Joseph found his way to Pharaoh because of his time in prison. Joseph was in Egypt because he was sold into slavery. Even though he faced adversity, Joseph was still guided by the Lord to accomplish his purpose.
We will face adversity in our lives. It is inevitable; however, the Lord will guide us through those times. Like Joseph, the Lord guides us to accomplish our purpose. How has the Lord brought you through adversity in the past?
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