I believe that of most of the Biblical characters we read about, I can identify best with Joseph. His story is recorded for us in Genesis 37 and 39-45. The Bible says about him in Gen 37:2 that he was 17 years old and he was still a boy. I can remember being 17 years old. I did NOT feel at that time that I was a mere girl, but a woman fully grown. If I had ANY idea the mistakes I was yet to make, I would have discarded that fantasy quickly!
Joseph made mistakes. He knew that he was Daddy’s favorite. He also knew that his brothers were jealous of him and hated him. He still pulled a stupid and shared not one, but two dreams with them that would make them hate him even more! Joseph was about to embark on a major life-learning lesson.
Joseph found himself sold into slavery, but he still had his dreams. I’m sure there were times when he clung to the dreams feeling sure that at any time God would deliver him from slavery and fulfill the promises. Days turned into weeks. Weeks became months, then years.
How did Joseph deal with this turn of events? Simply put, he was faithful to serve with excellence in the circumstances he found himself. I’m sure he had times where he despaired; where he cried out to God; but he never let his emotions affect his work. His boss saw this faithfulness and placed him in charge of all he had. Joseph, however, was still a slave.
Just when Joseph must have thought that circumstances were turning around for him, he was falsely accused and thrown in prison. Things could not have gone worse and Joseph wasn’t getting any younger! Joseph could have rebelled and given the warden fits, but he didn’t. He submitted himself to his new circumstances and served with faithfulness. Again, the warden put him in charge. Again, the days turned into weeks, turned into months, then years.
One day two of Pharaoh’s officials just happened to be placed in the very same part of the prison that Joseph was in. Gen 40:4 states that Joseph was told to serve them. Around eleven years have come and gone. Joseph has transitioned from being the favored son of a wealthy man to being the servant of fellow prisoners in the dungeon! Most of us would have snapped at the gross injustice, but Joseph faithfully served these guys even to the point of interpreting dreams for them. Simply put, Joseph spent time with God and was hearing His voice even in His darkest hours. Joseph never gave up on God, and God did not give up on him!
Long story short: Joseph spent another two years in prison with no hope of ever being released when suddenly, in God’s timing, Joseph was promoted to second in command over all of Egypt! It would be another nine years before the dreams were to be fulfilled, but Joseph had finally shifted SUDDENLY into God’s purpose for his life!
Do you have promises as yet unfulfilled? Have days become years without a glimmer of hope? Have circumstances turned from bad to worse? The prophets are all saying that this is the “turn-around” year. I don’t believe that it will be the turn-around year for everyone, but it will be the turn-around year for many who will spend time with the Lord, hear His voice, do what He says, and walk in faithfulness under their current circumstances. This is my New Year’s resolution. What will yours be?