Joseph’s doings in Egypt are fascinating and dynamic reading. In the passage we are looking at today (Gen 39), he goes from slave to trusted estate manager to jailbird to head-jailbird in a breathtaking zero to hero to zero to half-hero in 23 verses. The time-span is longer than the racy narrative suggests, but we are left with the impression that his life is a roller-coaster. Sound familiar? I’m sure for many of us that is the case – there are times when we can feel and see the Lord’s hand on our lives to bless us and give us success, as there clearly were for Joseph. But there are also other times when it seems to be totally the opposite. It may not be that we end up in jail, falsely accused, like Joseph, but it seems like our lives have run off course and are anything but successful.
The one constant in this story is that the Lord was with Joseph. In the successes, and in difficulties. The Lord was there and he was actively bringing about his plans and purposes. The bible doesn’t encourage us to believe that our lives will always be smooth and ‘successful’. It’s great when it does happen. But God does consistently tell us that whatever happens, He is in control and bringing about his good purposes, and fulfilling every promise to bring all his people home to his eternal new creation.
Whatever 2015 holds for us individually and as a church we can be confident that God will continue to work out his good and loving plans, and that we can trust him no matter what. May we increasingly align our understanding of ‘success’ to the view that Joseph ended up with – living in line with God’s plans and purposes regardless of the circumstances – a view that expresses itself in the confidence that “God meant it for good”. The Lord of history will continue to work out His story. The question for each of us, and for us as his people at CrossCulture is: how willing are we to live out our lives in trust and obedience to him?
By his grace, may we increasingly live lives of bold faith and confidence in him and his good will.