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Trust in the Providence of God

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

We just finished up a Bible Study on the life of Joseph! If you've never read through his story before, it's found in Genesis chapters 37-50, and truly is remarkable. The life of Joseph is one of hardships, heartbreak, rejection, and loneliness. It's also a story of faith, perseverance, and redemption. The overarching theme is the faithfulness and providence of God. Many of us remember the story of Joseph from our years as a child in Sunday School, with the infamous coat of many colors! But I assure you that there is way more to Joseph's life than what you remember as a child. Let me share a short recap with you.

Joseph is the favorite son of Jacob, one the Patriarchs of our faith. God gives Joseph dreams that seem to indicate he will hold a position of authority over his brothers and family, but keep in mind he is younger than most of his brothers. For some reason, he shares these dreams with his brothers and father. This, along with his father's favoritism, cause Joseph's brothers to become angry and resentful. They eventually let their jealousy get the best of them and decide to kill Joseph. He is only seventeen at this time. In the providence of God, his brothers change their minds at the last minute and decide to sell him to Midiante traders headed to Egypt instead. While in Egypt, Joseph is sold into slavery to a man named Potiphar. Through a series of events, he ends up in prison. But we are reminded through Scripture that the Lord was with him, and the Lord gave him favor with those in charge of him.

"But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden."

Genesis 39:20-21

In an epic turn of events, two new prisoners came to the prison, and both men have dreams on the same night. They wake up puzzled as to what the dreams mean. Joseph is able to interpret their dreams for them correctly. One man is restored to his former position as the Pharaoh's Butler, and one man is killed. Sadly for Joseph, the Butler forgot about him, and two long years passed. This must have seemed like an eternity for Joseph. But again, the Lord was with him.

At the end of two full years, the Pharaoh had a dream and no one could interpret this dream. It's in this moment that the Butler realizes that he has completely forgotten about Joseph! He tells Pharaoh about Joseph, and he is brought from the dungeon to the palace, before Pharaoh! He shared his dreams with Joseph, and Joseph was able to interpret them on the spot, due to God's power. Joseph predicts that there will be seven years of plenty, followed by seven severe years of famine. The famine will be so bad that no one will remember the years of plenty. Joseph then laid out a plan for Pharaoh to collect a portion of the grain for seven years to provide for the famine to come. Pharaoh was pleased with the interpretations of the dreams and the advice that followed. He made Joseph second in command of all Egypt, and gave him his signet ring so that he could execute this plan to save Egypt from famine and financial ruin. What a crazy turn of events!

I love this story because it shows the providence of God on full display! Only God could have used the evil intentions of his brothers and worked out all these details in Joseph's life to bring him to Egypt at this specific time, and have him meet the prisoners, on that specific night, to interpret their dreams. He was then connected with the Butler, who then connected him to Pharaoh! God used all this hardship in Joseph's life to have him there for that point in human history so that he could save Egypt, and the entire known world from famine. In turn, he was able to save his family from the famine too, because they eventually came to Egypt.

Trust in the Providence of God.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 55:8-9

Joseph trusted in God, even in the hard times when he didn't fully understand what was happening in his life. He knew that God was with him, and he knew that God was giving him favor, even in devastating circumstances. If Joseph had given in to despair, or allowed bitterness or resentment to have a foothold in his life, he would not have been able to accomplish God's will, the saving of many people from the famine, including the chosen people of God.

God is painting on a canvas that is bigger than we can ever imagine. Our plans are temporal, but His plans are eternal. We see a snapshot, but God sees the big picture. It's difficult to trust God when we are in pain and don't understand why. But those are the very moments that our faith is being tested and strengthened. When we humble ourselves, and submit to God's plan, and open our hands to what God has for us, we are in for something bigger than we can ever imagine. Joseph could have never dreamed up the impact that his life would have on his generation at that point in human history. If we allow God's plan to unfold in our lives, He will use our lives to reach will be farther, and have an eternal impact for His Kingdom!

Will you surrender your hurts, hardships, and broken dreams to God? Will you open your hands to Him and allow Him to have His will and way in your life? Will you trust that God is sovereign, and His ways are not your ways. Will you trust that you are right where you need to be, and when the time is right, God will move you from the prison to the palace, so that you can carry out His kingdom agenda on earth!

Prayer Points:

● Lord, even in this hard season, I trust You.

● Jesus, I open my hands to Your plans for my life. My plans are temporal, but Your plans are eternal, and I surrender them to You.

● God, I trust that Your plans for my life will have a greater impact than any plans that I can dream up. I praise You for lovingly inviting me into Your kingdom work.

Dear God,

I come before You, in the mighty Name of Jesus, and I praise You that You can take all the hard and difficult times of my life and make something good come out of them. Only You can take broken pieces and make masterpieces. I trust You with my life, my plans, my dreams, my hurts, my struggles, and I choose to live open-handed with You. I pray that You would lead and guide my life with Your strong and faithful hand of providence. You are good and all Your plans will work things out for my good and Your glory. I ask You to order my steps and guide me every step of the way.

In Christ Alone,

Michelle Staubs

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