Genesis 39:21 “But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
As children, we had names for those who would seek the teacher’s favor. “Teacher’s pet” we’d call out and tease. But, it was mostly out of envy and jealousy. To be looked on and seen favorable by one in authority seemed beautiful indeed.
Knowing and seeking influence with those with whom we work; those we regard as proficient in a field we admire or follow brings a certain amount of confidence, assurance, and happiness. There are those who try to leverage that favor the most significant advantage and others who seem so aloof to it.
If that one whom we admire or follow were to recognize us for what we’ve accomplished; we would consider it an honor.
Stepping into the spiritual realm; to feel recognized and favored by the God of Heaven… how very humbling. Yet, so often, we fail to see just how special we are in God’s eyes. When we see just who we are in Christ, we can be allowed to be used to reveal to others Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Joseph walked with God. From the favor shown him by his father Jacob – now Israel; he received a prophetic vision from God in the form of a dream. God revealed the end of the matter.
Joseph was a man of faith. We are allowed to see the path that Joseph had to take to get to his place of prominence. Had any of us know the way to receive the position we now hold, we may have shrunk from it and never understood the blessing of God’s hand in our life or the favor He bestows.
Yet, Joseph never complained to anyone but God. It is not recorded that he had a lousy attitude, flew into a rage or became violent because of his circumstances. He trusted that God was going to use whatever He bought into his life to accomplish the dream he had been shown.
Oh, that we could be so faith-filled!
When our comfort bubble bursts and situation and circumstances become hard, we look up into Heaven, shake our fist and say, “Why God!?”
We feel God is punishing us somehow. I have come to understand that you will know when the chastening hand of God comes into your life. All other adversity that comes may very well be God revealing Himself to others through you.
The later Steven Curington coined the phrase: ‘Adversity University‘ to describe the trials a saved child of God will go through in his or her life to reveal Christ to a lost and dying world. If we, through patience, would just run our race and realize that everything that comes has a purpose.
When are fully and wholly submitted to following God, we will take a seat in the classroom in Adversity University and find that the recipe for us to be more like Jesus has some pretty rough and rocky paths to travel. Some may seem impassable and impossible.
Knowing that it is God who placed me on this path, gives me the confidence that He will equip me for the journey, protect me as I go and see me through to accomplish whatever it is He called me to do.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Joseph showed contentment in situations where we may have utterly failed. Paul was able to capture that disposition in:
Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
When you and I bring that kind of spirit to our homes, to our neighborhoods, to our workplace, and to our churches, people will look and desire the Christ we reveal.
We fail when we buckle under the outside pressure of the world because we have no inward peace, and a walk with God to push back. I can accept whatever comes when I know God has allowed it. Often, we blame God for self-inflicted situations and circumstances, instead of confessing and repenting of them.
The favor comes when we do that which we’re commanded to do; without complaint; not seeing it as drudgery or a chore. But seeing it as a God-ordained moment for me to get in the yoke with God and see how He is going to use it for His glory.
Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Let us press toward the mark together; encouraging one another to take on that which God has given to make us more like Christ. Looking unto Jesus – the Author and Finisher of our faith!