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Lessons from Joseph

Lessons from Joseph

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Joseph’s Uncommon Integrity

There are only three people I can think of in the Bible who weren’t shown to have serious flaws, didn’t make major mistakes, and didn’t get reproved by God. Joseph is one of them.

Joseph was Jacob’s eleventh son, born to his wife Rebekah. Jacob favored Joseph, obvious in the coat of many colors he made for him, and this sparked resentment among his older brothers (Gen. 37:3–4). Some think Joseph’s brothers disliked him because of his dreams, but the Bible says it was because of Jacob’s favoritism. Joseph’s response to the dreams God gave him is what makes his story so powerful.

Navigating Jealousy and Betrayal

Imagine being only seventeen years old and getting dreams from God that your brothers will one day bow down to you. The next thing you know, you’re faced with jealousy and betrayal, ultimately ending up in Egypt as a slave.

Enduring Hardship with Grace

One of the most amazing things about Joseph was that he not only endured hardship like very, very few people ever do, but he also did it with a good attitude. It’s one thing to keep serving God with a good attitude when you don’t have any other option. But do you know when the real test comes? When you have prosperity.

Interpreting Dreams and Rising to Power

Joseph’s rise to power occurred after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, prophesying seven years of abundance in Egypt followed by seven years of severe famine. In Genesis 41:46, we learn that Joseph was thirty years old when he finally stood before Pharaoh. Thirteen years had passed since God had given him dreams of his family bowing down to him.

Resisting Temptation and Serving Faithfully

What’s truly amazing is that even though Joseph became the second most powerful man in the land and could’ve manipulated circumstances to force his dreams to come true, he chose to serve Pharaoh faithfully, resisting the temptation to take matters into his own hands.

The Test of Prosperity

Do you see how prosperity is actually a greater indication of what’s in a person’s heart? Joseph was smart enough to recognize that God was the one who had promoted him and put him in this position, and he was waiting on God to bring his dreams to pass. I don’t know if you get the significance of this or not, but it speaks volumes to me. I tell you, the restraint and wisdom Joseph exhibited are rare qualities.

The Importance of Integrity in Prosperity

This is really, really important and probably one of the most central things that I’ve learned through the life of Joseph. In our lives, the temptation to compromise integrity will arise. Joseph’s story urges us to stay the course, trusting God and refusing to force outcomes on our own. Joseph had no animosity toward his brothers and no anger over what had been done to him. He chose to just wait and be dependent upon God.

Learning from Joseph’s Restraint and Wisdom

Let me share some thoughts on this, and I’ll keep it simple. There are some of you reading this right now, and you’ve been through some things. And even though you’re still standing, you’re doing it in your own strength and power. You aren’t doing it with the right heart. And if you ever had the opportunity, you would go to the person who wronged you and put them in their place. But brothers and sisters, you need to get to the place where there’s no bitterness in you and you’re just waiting on God to bring things to pass.

Avoiding Compromise and Trusting God’s Timing

God loves you, and He doesn’t want to put you in a position where Satan throws everything he’s got at you and you don’t have the maturity to be able to handle it. You need to learn how to just cool your jets and wait on God. This seems like a contradiction. On one hand, you’ve got to be bold. You’ve got to take advantage of the opportunities that God’s given you. But on the other hand, you have to be under subjection to the Lord.

Lessons from Horse Training: Finding Control

You know, a great analogy for this comes from something I learned while raising horses. I’ve had horses that were so stubborn, you practically had to force them to move. They did their own thing and didn’t listen. On the flip side, I’ve had high-spirited Arabians, full of energy. If you let go of their reins, they’d bolt off like lightning. The key is to have a balance—a spirited horse that listens. If it’s out of control, it’s like riding a runaway horse, and that’s scary.

Balancing Boldness and Subjection

The key is to have a mix of both traits. If God says to go, you go without hesitation. But at the same time, you need to stay in control. This is what I see in Joseph’s story. For thirteen years, he had no choice as a slave and prisoner. But when he was given absolute power and authority, he remained in control, even when he could’ve done things his own way. Pharaoh gave him everything (Gen. 41:39–44), but he waited on God to fulfill the vision.

Dependence on God in Every Circumstance

You need to be dependent upon God. And this is what I see in Joseph. This is one of the greatest things I’ve learned from him. He not only served God for thirteen years when there was no option, but when he had every option and could have done some things on his own, he kept serving and depending upon God.

Rejecting Compromise for Eternal Values

I’ve faced financial struggles when people offered me millions of dollars with strings attached. But their plans went against what God put in my heart, so I turned them down. It’s really crucial to stay in control, just like Joseph did, waiting on God instead of compromising for temporary gain. Compromise is the language of the devil. You don’t need to compromise.

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