“In the world you will have tribulation.” John 16:33
Here are three things we can learn from the story of Joseph about the world we live in.
Never underestimate the antagonism toward God even in respectable people
Our sinful minds are naturally hostile to God (Rom. 8:7). What our hearts need to be delivered from is a fundamental mindset that resists the authority of God over our lives. We are like the brothers of Joseph who said: “We will not have this man to reign over us.” That is why Jesus was crucified and why He is despised and rejected in the world today. But the One who is despised is also the One on whom our hopes depend.
Sometimes sharing the Word of God will isolate you from friends
Joseph received the Word of God in a dream; he believed it and then shared it with others. They hated him for it, and he became isolated. Joseph was seventeen years old and none of his brothers wanted to hang out with him. The reason was the Word of God. If we speak His Word in this world, then we will share the pain and sorrow of Jesus’ rejection. But it is better to lose friends than to lose Jesus. And remember, however much your friends or family may despise the Word of God, they need it and their hopes depend on it.
Always remember that when you are in Christ the love and favor of God are upon you
There will be times in your life when you find yourself asking, “Why, Lord, have you allowed so much pain in my life?” Look at the story of Joseph, and you will see that God knows what He is doing, and He never wastes the pain and suffering of His people. God’s redeeming power is always at work. If you feel alone and wonder, Who really loves me? you can say, “God loves me with an everlasting love in Jesus Christ.”
Which of these did you find most surprising? Least surprising? Why?