This post is in continuation of the Dare to be like Joseph Series Part 5.
God gave Joseph two wonderful and glorious dreams about his future and he was happy about them. In his innocence, he told his family members the dreams, and that marked the beginning of great oppositions against the dreams. His father rebuked him and questioned the reality of the dreams, Genesis 37:10. His brothers mocked, envied, and hated him for the dreams to the extreme extent of planning to kill him in order to kill the dream, Genesis 37:5, 8, 11, 18-20. He was sold into slavery to a foreign land, separated from family members and eventually, he was thrown in the prison due to false accusations by Potiphar’s wife, Genesis 37: 27-28, 36; 39: 20. These were situations that made the wonderful dreams seem unrealistic and unachievable. All these happenings are the works of opposition powers that wanted to forestall, hinder, and prevent the dreams from being fulfilled. These could be very discouraging, terrifying, and disheartening, occurrences. However, Joseph remained strong and courageous and unshaken because he like Apostle Paul knew the God he believed in and was persuaded that He can keep him from all harm, 2 Timothy 1:12.
Oppositions are real! They are inevitable. They are barriers to attainments. This implies they happen to hinder and prevent one from progressing whenever one is about to achieve something new and great, 1 Corinthians 16:9. Although, oppositions often come through fellow humans, however, the real power behind the opposition is the devil. He is the adversary, 1 Peter 5:8. The devil will stop at nothing to prevent a noble dream/advancement from happening! No one fulfills a life dream as glorious as Joseph’s without facing life-threatening oppositions and attacks from the devil the arch enemy of God and man whose aim is to steal, kill and destroy in order to prevent man from fulfilling God’s purpose for his life, John 10: 10. The devil does not try to hinder people who are going down; he is only after the one’s going up.
Joseph’s brothers knew his dreams were true and certain to come to pass. They did not want him to be their leader and bow themselves’ to him, Genesis 37:8. Therefore they planned to kill the dreamer to stop the dreams, Genesis 37:20. They did not succeed because God the giver of the dream was in control of Joseph’s life. God was with Him. His brothers’ evil plot to kill him which was unknown to him was known to God that knows the content of all men’s heart, 1 Chronicles 28:9. They did not succeed in killing him because God protected and delivered him from their evil plans. God delivered him from death just as He had delivered all those who put their trust in Him such as the Hebrew boys He delivered from death by the furnace fire: King David from the evil plans of King Saul; Daniel from the lions’ den. When God is for us no evil plan by our haters can prevail over. Oppositions tried to stop him but failed because it is in the power of our good God to make even the evil plans of the enemies to work out for our good. Josephs’ evil brothers never knew that by their evil plans to oppose Joseph’s destiny, they had actually helped Joseph to be on the way to the place of the fulfillment of the dreams.
One of the great challenges that have prevented many people from fulfilling their dreams is opposition/adversary. One is facing opposition when certain experiences/situations present themselves as the dead end to one’s dreams. Powers of oppositions have hindered so many and have killed some with lofty dreams.
To dare to be like Joseph is to be able to remain strong and courageous in the face of great oppositions knowing that greater is He who is with you and in you than the opposition powers “when thou passest through the water, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindled upon thee”, Isaiah 43:2; 1 John 4:4. He also promised to defend and protect us in Isaiah 41:10-11; “fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness… all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.” So don’t give up on God; be assured that He is with you.
Know that unexpected happenings do not indicate the end of your God-given dream, so stop being afraid or worrying. Relax and know that God is in control in such a situation, Exodus 13-14. Don’t give up on your dreams because of opposition because faithful is he who has given the dreams and he would help you fulfill it, Hebrews 10:23. God’s plan is to give you an expected end, Jeremiah 29:11. It is not over yet until it is over. Remember God can put the bits and pieces of our shattered dreams and bring a beautiful thing out of it. He is the giver of the dream and He knows how best to help you achieve them. A change in one’s situation does not imply the death of a dream and should never be. Don’t resign to fate, don’t give up your God-given dream, don’t because of a seemingly dead-end stop being good, or make you join the evil gang. Don’t become angry with God or commit suicide. The way God made Joseph’s dream to become a reality proved He works in mysterious ways and that He is reliable!.
Always remember that anytime you are about achieving anything good and great that opposition powers would attempt to stop you. The devil even attempted to oppose our God’s salvation plan for humanity by attempting to kill Jesus as an infant, Matthew 2:7-17. Therefore always commit your ways into God’s hands and pray always that He should deliver you from all evil, Matthew 6:13a. You are unstoppable. Don’t give up!
Relying on Jesus is the only thing that is going to deliver one from the adversities of this life. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivered him out of them,” Psalm 34:19.
ENDURE SUFFERING AND HARDSHIP
The dreams God gave him looked so beautiful and glorious yet with no revelations of all the sufferings and hardships he would encounter on his way to the fulfillment of the dreams. He passed through a lot of hardship which included being thrown into a dry pit and not being given food while there, Genesis 37:24-25. He was sold into slavery and became a slave in the house of Potiphar, Geneses 37:39. While there he was unjustly charged with immorality and was unjustly imprisoned and made to spend years in prison. These experiences were suffering and hardship in the real definition of it. He however endured and persevered in all! No discouragement, no complaint, no murmuring, he adjusted in no time to whatever situations he found himself. While serving at Potiphar’s house, he was so dedicated, hard-working, and faithful that he soon became the head of his entire master’s house. Later, when he was unjustly sent to prison he endured all sufferings there also. He worked so hard and faithfully that he soon became the overseer of the prisoners. He was able to do these because he could see God in all he passed through therefore he did everything with his whole heart as unto the Lord.
Looking critically at the hardships, sufferings, and pains Joseph passed through, one discovers that they were needed in making him realize his dreams. There was no other way to pharaoh’s throne except through slavery and the prison. These are very important lessons for us all to learn from all that God allowed him to pass through. They could be said to be parts of His noble plans for him to learn certain things. Slavery and imprisonment taught him humility and serving others which he probably did not learn from his father’s house being a favorite child. Slavery and imprisonment introduced him to the lifestyle and culture of the high and low-class Egyptians and also trained him in leadership! Joseph himself acknowledged the fact that God had used his sufferings to save the lives of his family members, Genesis 50:20
To dare to be like Joseph is to dare to endure suffering and hardship that come across one’s way to fulfill one’s dreams. The road to success and attainment of great dreams is full of troubles, pains, and suffering. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee freedom from suffering, pains, and hardship as Jesus warned us about, John 16:33. God however promised us His presence and sufficient grace that would see us through. This implies God is involved in our sufferings. Endure hardship and sufferings, 2 Timothy 2:3. Maintain your focus on God in all our sufferings without getting weary. When you focus on God your sufferings and pains become bearable. Endure hardship, God has promised that he will not allow us to pass through what we are unable to bear, 1 Corinthians 10: 13. Remember, no pain no gain! Nothing good in life comes easy! Remember, God loves and cares for you in whatever you are passing through, 1 Peter 5: 7. His grace is sufficient for you.
You may suffer in the evil and unjust world but the ultimate purpose of God for you will triumph over your suffering as it happened in Joseph’s life.
To be continued…