– Richard Cecil
Devotional: 6 Key Lessons Joseph Teaches Modern Christians
When it comes to good and evil, the Bible has plenty of stories to illustrate. One of my favorite stories highlights the relationship of good vs. evil and God’s power to turn the evil among men into a blessing. I am talking about the story of Joseph. The story of Joseph can actually be reduced into a single sentence: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers because they all envied him. No matter where Joseph ended up, he always came out as the best because God was in his favor. When he was sold as a slave, he became the slave master’s home assistant. When he was thrown into prison for being falsely accused of rape, he became the strong right arm of the prison warden. He was sent into exile to Egypt. But what happened in Joseph’s case? He became the highest minister of the land. That’s the real power of being blessed with God’s favor because you abide in him.
Here are 6 key lessons Joseph can teach us regarding good and evil:
Do Not Be Afraid Of What Others Think
If you do good and if you do the right thing, don’t be afraid that people will think of you as being dorky, or weird, or that you have a corny attitude. Whatever they think, if you are not afraid, it will not steer you away from the right path. There is no way they can impact your salvation. Just focus on what God directs you to do because if you obey God out of faith, that is the only thing that matters.
Don’t Be Afraid To Let Your Favor Shine
Joseph’s brothers hated him because it was obvious that he was the favorite of their father Jacob. People could hate you for being a Christian. People could hate you knowing that you believe in the Bible and the Bible alone. However, just like Joseph, don’t be afraid to let God’s favor make your life shine. You have to understand that you are a witness in the eyes of the people around you. If you let their animosity and confusion defeat you, you’re not being a good witness. Keep in mind that you are letting God’s favor shine not because you’re bragging about it, but because you are a witness standing on God’s side so that you can draw more people closer to God.
Always Trust In God’s Favor
No matter how challenging, or how bad, or how terrible the scenario you are in is, as long as you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you will remain in his favor. At first, the situation could look bleak, or it could give you a hard crushing blow. But never believe that you will lose God’s favor. Do not lose faith because you are part of His plan. In fact, you are His plan. When in doubt, just look into the central core of the Gospel: “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life.” This is what you have to bear in mind every time you are in doubt. The immensity of God’s love flows inside you and you have to trust in it.
Whatever You Do, Do It with Love
Joseph could have hated his life when he was sold as a slave. He could have disliked being a servant. Or he could have despised it being a lowly minister to the pharaoh. But he loved having been all these. Because of that, he always rose to the top. You, too, can do similar things as Joseph did. If you feel you’re not making enough money, or if you feel that you’re stuck in a job or a relationship, the secret is to do everything with love and there will always be a solution. The good news is that it’s not your love that you share, but the love of God. Tap into that power by way of the Holy Spirit and by the strength of His love, you will be amazed as to how far you can go.
With God’s Love, the Hatred of Others Transforms Into Blessings
Unmistakably, Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that some of them even wanted him dead. But with God’s love, all their acts of hatred were transformed into blessings. Joseph wouldn’t have been the head steward in an Egyptian household had he not been sold for slavery. Joseph wouldn’t have become the right-hand man of the warden if he hadn’t been falsely accused of the crime of rape. Joseph would not have been second in command in the land of Egypt had his brothers not sold him there as a slave. As Joseph said, “Man’s intention might be evil, but God diverts that intention towards good.” The secret ingredients: Trust and Faith in the Lord.
You are Blessed To Show Compassion and Forgiveness
When Jacob the father of Joseph died, all his brothers got scared because they were all living in Egypt, where Joseph was second in power. They were scared of the idea that Joseph might take his revenge on them. But because of Joseph’s intimate relationship with God, love overflowed from him. He said to his brothers, “Do not be afraid because I’m not going to repay you evil for the evil that you did to me. God converted your evil deeds into good, and so I will not harm you.” The moral: Always show compassion and radiate forgiveness whenever others make you the object of ridicule, even if they show rejection towards your forgiveness. It doesn’t really matter because it is not for them that you are doing this, but rather for God. God has powerfully transformed you, and with that, you reflect God’s power.