Joseph: Faith-God Is In Control

Handcuffed hands

So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of Egypt. Genesis 45:8 

The next person of faith that I want to look at is Joseph. It is not common to think of him as a person of faith, but he was. I will quickly retell his story leading up to why he is a man of faith and how his faith looks.

Joseph grew up as the youngest for many years in a large family of twelve plus children. Not only was he the youngest, but he was much younger than the rest of his brothers. He was different in that God had given him visions, even at a young age.

Some of the visions he had been given had made his brothers angry with him. They realized that the visions meant that at some point in the future they would bow down to him. In their anger they were about to kill him, but was stopped by one of the brothers. Instead they sold Joseph into slavery.

Abu Simbel temple

Despite being in slavery, God was with him and gave him great favor. He had started out being the head of the house of Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials and captain of the guard. This was a very high and honored position to have. Potiphar trusted him completely.

However, Potiphar’s wife tried to get Joseph sexually. Joseph refused and she had him falsely accused and thrown into prison.

Even while in prison, God was still with Joseph and continued to give him favor. He was made the head of all the prisoners because of his faithfulness. Yet, he was still a prisoner, locked up in prison for a false accusation against him.

While in prison, two prisoners had a vision and were unable to understand what the vision was about. God gave Joseph favor and gave him the meaning of the visions. Both of the visions became true.

Human eye

Later, Pharaoh had some visions and no one could interpret them. One of the released prisoners then remembered Joseph interpreting his dream and mentioned him to Pharaoh. He brought Joseph out of the prison to get the interpretation. Again, God gave Joseph favor and he was able to interpret the dream for Pharaoh.

Pharaoh then honored Joseph and made him second, only to him over all of Egypt. Joseph was the person who would save Egypt and much of the world during a very long famine in the land. It was Egypt that would provide food needed by people from many nations.

Some time later, his brothers came to Egypt looking to get some food. Immediately Joseph recognized his brothers, but did not reveal the fact until later, because they did not recognize him. They thought he was either dead or in slavery yet.

When Joseph did reveal himself, he told them not to worry about what they had done wrong to him, but that it was all God’s doing. God had put him into slavery in order to get him to Egypt, in order to have him in position to save Egypt and the world from a famine.

Egypt pyramids

This is where his faith comes in.

It is commonly thought that when a person becomes a Christian believer in Jesus that everything will go alright, that there will be no problems. It sounds nice. Think about it God is with you, He will protect you, and He will meet all of your needs. Why should anyone think anything different?

Yet, this is not the truth. Yes, God is with you, is protecting you and is meeting all of your needs, but the process may be through tough times. God is also going to use you to meet the needs of others. In order for that to happen, you may have to be moved or have to go through something to get you in the right position to be able to meet those needs.

Being moved into a downward position does not always make sense. Why would God move someone down, when He said He would lift a person up? God gave Joseph a vision that he would rule over his brothers. Why would God make him a slave then?

Puzzle pieces

God sees the bigger picture. He is standing above all watching what is happening and is able to know where each person needs to be to fulfill His work. We, as people at the bottom of the picture, or in the picture, cannot see the full picture. We cannot always understand what God is doing or why He is doing it. We cannot always understand why God is allowing certain things to happen in our lives.

This is where faith comes in. Remember, faith is being certain of what you cannot see. Joseph could not fully see what God was doing, but He had faith that God was in control. Instead of blaming his brothers, he was able to see that it was God’s hand that moved him to where he was in the way that it occurred.

God may have placed a vision or a dream in your heart as to what He wants from you. As you strive to achieve that dream, you may have to go down a different path that appears to move you further away from it. You may have to go through some difficult times to achieve that vision.

During those difficult times, do not give up on God. Do not lose faith in God. Have faith in God, knowing that He is still in control and knows what He is doing.

Burning car

Do not allow yourself to become bitter because of the circumstances you may be going through or have already been through. Everything that you go through is meant to build you up in Jesus–to make you more like Jesus. It can expose areas that need to be worked on, areas that need to be strengthened, areas that need to be removed and cleaned up, and areas that can be honored and broadcast.

Every believer has some area to improve on to become more like Jesus. No one is perfectly like Him, so there is room to grow. Trust that God is in control and is working towards that goal–that is faith in God.

Looking up

Seek God to understand why you are going through tough times or had gone through tough times. Find out how you can use those tough times for His glory and His kingdom.

This is faith. You cannot fully see the whole picture, but can know that God does. God is working all things out for your good. Have faith that this is true and will always be true.

 

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1 Corinthians 6:7 Being Wronged And Not Fight Back

 

Being Wronged

The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 1 Corinthians 6:7

Paul talks about how the Corinthian church was taking people to court. They would place a lawsuit against another person because of something that person had done wrong. He calls them completely defeated because of these lawsuits.

In America, lawsuits against a person or company is a very common thing to happen. Something does not go just perfectly right and a person is ready to file a lawsuit.

A doctor does not do something correctly or makes a mistake and there is a lawsuit made up. A person in a restaurant or some other business treats someone wrong and there is a lawsuit. The floor is wet in a business and some one slips and gets hurt, and there is a lawsuit. Workplaces see lawsuits all the time for treatment of the workers. And the list of lawsuits is endless.

In this mix of lawsuits are many believers. Paul said a believer must take the wrong and move on.

Look at the life of Jesus. How many times did people do Him wrong? And yet, He did not fight back or create a lawsuit against them. He knew who was in control and let His Father deal with the person correctly.

Every believer must know who is control. It is God who is in control. If God is the one in control, then it is probable that He allowed the situation to occur to build you up in a certain way, or to allow the believer to be a witness to someone.

When a believer shows love to a person who has done him wrong, it will speak volumes. If a believer does not fight back when wronged, it will show God’s love.

There is going to be times when someone does something wrong to you. Even though the government and the world says you have a right to fight back, that is the time to turn the other cheek and let God deal with that person in His own way and time.

Instead of drawing up a lawsuit, seek to show that person love and forgiveness Be a witness of who Jesus is and was. Trust that God is the one who is in absolute control and not fight back.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will trust God’s path for your life; that you will not fight back against those who have done wrong to you; and that God will give you strength to love your enemies.

Romans 13:2 Stop Rebelling

Rebellion

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:2

Rebellion is fighting against some authority. It is commonly thought of as teen-agers as those who are the ones who rebel. They rebel against those in authority and parents. Yet, it is not just teen-agers who rebel. Many adults rebel on a regular basis.

Often rebellion is seen as a form of legal right and responsibility. People feel that they have to rebel against some authority in order to make a change to occur.

Some of the rebellion will be seen in physical violence, while a lot of rebellion is in the heart and words against the authority.

Paul points out that every authority on this earth was put in place by God. This means every authority, whether Godly, or extremely against God. Take a look at the history of Israel in the Bible. Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king from Assyria, who did not serve God at the beginning of his reign. Yet, God put Him in the place of authority over the Israelites and the prophets of God told the people to serve and obey him. They were not to rebel against him.

Those who are in authority may not always be doing the best action, yet, God had still placed them in that position. They may be there to draw His people back to Him, just as was the case with Israel falling under the authority of Nebuchadnezzar.

Rebellion is just a form of selfishness. One cannot get what he wants, so he rebels to attempt to force getting what he wants. This is not a way of love, nor is it showing trust in God’s power and abilities.

Very likely you have someone in authority over you in some part of your life that is doing something you do not really like. Do not rebel to force your right, but go to God in prayer about the situation. Allow God to either change your heart and desire, or to change the other person.

God has every authority in place for a purpose. To fight and rebel against that authority is to fight and rebel against God. Trust God in His choices. He knows what is best for you and every other person on this earth. Seek God, not selfish rebellion.

I pray today that you will know God’s purpose in your life; that God will strengthen you to love those in authority; that you will obey those in authority as God desires; and that you will be a witness of God’s love to those in authority. 

Zechariah 14:9 King Of The Whole Earth

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. Zechariah 14:9

Looking into the future Zechariah sees a time when God will overcome all the nations of the earth. At that time He will destroy all false beliefs and gods. God will be the God of all the earth.

At the time of Zechariah and even today, there are many gods on this earth. People worship and serve other people, false gods and things. Some will worship them to the point of making it a religion, while many will just give their whole life to something or someone.

It looks as though the world and Satan is in control and will win the battle. Churches appear to be getting smaller and smaller, many closing their doors. Sinful activities are promoted more and more openly everywhere. Certain false religions appear to be on the rise, growing more and more all the time.

This looks the same as when Israel was in captivity and there appeared to be no hope left. God had said that He rejected them and cast them out. The nations of the world had overcome Israel. Yet, there was a hope. Not all were destroyed in the captivity. After a time in captivity, they were restored. Later after that, they regained their land as their own nation and country.

While it appears that the world and Satan are winning, they are not. God is setting up the stage for the return of Jesus. When Jesus returns all sin will be destroyed for all eternity. A new heaven and a new earth will be made. At that time the name of Jesus and God will be the only names worshipped and honored. God will be God of the entire earth.

Each day that you look out on this world and read or see the news, keep in mind that Jesus said that He will return some day. There will be a day when He returns and takes you away with Him to a home He has prepared for you.

Until that day, stay strong in your faith in Jesus. Continue to let every person know what Jesus has done and can do for them. Be a witness and strive to bring as many with you to God as you can. In the end God will be God of all the earth. You have hope!

I pray today that you will know the salvation of Jesus in your life; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that God will remove the fear of the world in your life; and that you will be a witness for Jesus to this fallen world.

Psalm 119:95 When The Enemy Is Out To Get You

The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. Psalm 119:95

When a person knows that an enemy is ahead of them, waiting to get them, they do one a several things. Some will take a different route in fear. Some will call for help from others in fear. Some will just stop moving forward and give up in fear. A few will go forward and face the enemy.

Most of the actions that people will do in facing an enemy is have fear. They see that the enemy is out to destroy them and they get locked up in fear.

The psalmist knew that the enemy was out there waiting to destroy him. This was not just to make life rough for him, but to literally kill him off. Instead of being filled with fear, he chose instead to think about God’s Word. What did God’s laws say about this situation is what he chose to think about.

This thinking about the laws of God was not just some quick passing it thought. It was taking time to really think about it, and figure them out. How did God’s laws apply to the situation he was in?

God had said from the beginning that He would be with His people. Throughout the Bible it states that God would never leave or forsake anyone who believes in Him. It also states that He will win the battle in the end, the enemy will be destroyed.

Today as a believer you also have the statement that God’s perfect love casts out fear. This is the fear that cripples a person in the face of the enemy. When you study and think about God’s word, you will see that God is doing His best for your best. As that happens, you can rest assured that God will not allow the enemy to win in the end.

Despite the power and size of the enemy, you do not have to fear anything at all. Turn your eyes and thoughts on to God’s Word and see what He has to say about the situation. Then realize that God is still in control and will be with you.

Believing in Jesus will put you on God’s side, and God will win the battle. If God wins, you also will win. Do not fear when someone is out to destroy you. You cannot be destroyed, unless you allow the enemy to win in your life.

I pray today that God’s love will remove fear in your life; that you will seek out God’s Word; that you will think about God’s Word constantly; and that God will give you victory over your enemy.

Psalm 112:6-7 No Fear Of Bad News

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:6-7

Bad news seems to be everywhere. When a person watches the news, there is very little that is positive in the news. People feed off of bad news.

When bad news comes out, people often get scared and worried. They worry about what is happening or what will happen next. Fear rises up in the people.

Many Christians fall prey to this type of thinking. Someone in the government makes a new ruling or gets elected into a position, and suddenly everyone is worried and fear what is going to happen next. They fear that persecution is about to happen to believers. They fear that their freedom to worship God will be removed. They fear that their freedom to talk about God will be removed.

God is not a god of fear, but of love. Perfect love casts out all fear. God is not going to do anything that will harm a believer in any way. He is there to build a person up in the best way possible.

What does this have to do with hearing bad news? Everything.

Hearing bad news is not something any person can control. You may not hear any bad news right now, but wait a few minutes and you most likely will. Turn on the news and it will be there. Read the posts on Facebook and you will read some bad news. Someone will post something about something negative going on.

Yet, as a believer, you do not have to be afraid of the bad news. Whether that bad news is a part of your life, or it is about someone else on the other side of the world, you do not have to fear it.

The reason you do not have to fear any bad news, is that you know God is in control. He is working to make you more like Jesus everyday. He will use whatever it takes to make that happen. God will use bad things to make you better if it is the best way possible.

When you hear bad news, do not worry about it. Instead trust God. He is in control and loves you. God to sleep with no fear or worries. Everything will be alright.

I pray today that God will remove fear from your heart; that you will know God’s love; that you will know God is in control; and that you will not fear any bad news.

Psalm 100:3 We Are His

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:3

Over the years many books have been written about the power that a person has within himself. Since the beginning of Adam’s fall in the garden of Eden, mankind believes that they can do anything. They feel that man is in control of himself.

All over the world there is talk of self-made millionaires, people who have become millionaires by their own hard work. While they may have worked very hard, they have not done everything on their own. There were other people who worked for them and did a lot of the work, making them into the millionaire they became.

The world likes to think that self is in absolute control and no one is over them, they do not belong to anyone.

The real truth is that every person on this earth was created by God. He is the one who created everyone and everything. Since this is the case, no one really belongs to himself or is the one in control.

With this verse the author starts out saying that you must know that the Lord is God. He is the one who created you and made you into who you are today.

All those good things or blessings you have received over the years, they came from God. All those challenging trials that you have gone through, were from God in order to make you who you are today.

Since God has done all of this in you and for you, you belong to Him. You are not in control of your own life anymore.

While the world may think of this a slavery and bad, it is a good thing to belong to the Lord. If a person was a child of a billionaire, he would be in comfort knowing that his father had all the money needed.

You as a child of God, have all that is needed, not just money. God owns it all and is in control of it all. Who better than God to belong to?

Shout for joy today because you belong to God. Give Him praise because you are one of His people in His household.

I pray today that you will know Jesus more and more; that you will allow yourself to belong to God; that you will be His child; and that you will find joy in belonging to God.