Finding Stability In an Unstable World
Richard Roberts want to share something to you. When we look around the world today, there seems to be instability everywhere…so much, in fact, that it’s easy to think you and I may be dealing with situations that no one has ever faced before. But according to the Bible and the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50, that’s just not true. If anyone ever had a reason to become unstable and even bitter, it was Joseph. Just look at what happened in his life.
Dysfunctional families are nothing new
Joseph’s father, Jacob, had two wives, and he was involved with several other women at the same time. He had children by all of those women which caused jealousy and competition in the home. Joseph’s mother died when he was young. Jacob favored Joseph over his brothers and gave him a special, multi-colored coat, causing great jealousy among his brothers. In Genesis 37, we read where Joseph began having unusual dreams, including a dream where his brothers all bowed down to him. But rather than loving their brother and listening to his dreams, Joseph’s brothers grew even more jealous and bitter. They rejected his dreams, and hated him so much that they threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery in Egypt, and told their father he’d been killed.
And if slavery wasn’t bad enough…
Joseph was bought by Potiphar, a powerful Egyptian who put him in charge of his household. But In the midst of what had begun to be good fortune for Joseph, Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. When he refused her advances, she accused him of trying to rape her, and Joseph was thrown back in prison, though he had done nothing wrong. How did Joseph keep his sanity? How did he keep from becoming angry at God and filled with hate in the crazy, unstable world he was living in?
Joseph refused to get bitter
One reason I believe Joseph had emotional stability was because no matter what happened to him, he kept his eyes on the Lord and refused to get bitter. When his brothers sold him into slavery, he didn’t get bitter. When he was thrown into jail for a crime he didn’t commit, he didn’t get bitter. The Lord said in Romans 12:19, Vengeance is mine; I will repay. Why? Because He’s the only One who can absorb the punishment that vengeance brings. Joseph understood that, and he didn’t waste his time trying to get even with his enemies. No matter what people did to Joseph, he just kept moving forward with God. I believe he knew God had a purpose for his life, and he trusted Him to turn what the devil meant for his harm into his eventual good.
He used his gifts to bless others
Joseph had a gift from God to interpret dreams. One day Joseph interpreted a dream for Pharaoh and Pharaoh was so impressed that he made Joseph the number-two man in his government. When Joseph’s family ran out of food during a famine, they wound up at his doorstep on their knees, asking for food. And Joseph’s dreams came to pass! Joseph’s brothers were terrified when he revealed who he was. But Joseph held no bitterness in his heart. He said, “You planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people…You have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” (Genesis 50:19-21 MSG).
We can have what Joseph had
Joseph not only survived the instability surrounding him, he flourished. And I believe when you and I stay focused on God, as Joseph did, instead of the circumstances in our lives, we can have what Joseph had…and we can find stability in the unstable world around us.© Copyright 2013 richard roberts, All rights Reserved. Written For: Richard Roberts
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