Making the most of a difficult situation – Genesis 39-40

 

We have all been in difficult situations. We have all been in situations where we were looking for a way to escape. Joseph found himself in a very difficult situation. He was sold into slavery and found himself in a strange place, the land of Egypt. He was away from his family and was taken from everything he knew. However, Joseph serves as an example to us all as a man who made the most of a difficult situation.

Joseph’s prosperity in slavery (v. 1-6). Joseph was a slave. He was a commodity. However, Joseph had a way of being successful in everything that he did. Even as a slave, Joseph had such a strong work ethic and exercised such wisdom that he was given charge over all of Potiphar’s house. God’s favor was upon Joseph and everything he set his hands to do prospered. Men like Joseph are rare. His success came as a result of his unwavering faith in God and his strong work ethic. He truly believed that everything he did was for the glory of God. Even though he was in a place that he did not want to be and even though he was forced into his position, he made the most of it. You may find yourself in a difficult situation at work, but are you making the most of it? You may not like where you are at or what you do, but are you doing your best anyways? You see, the people that are most successful in life are those who work hard and do their best in everything for the glory of God. The people that God blesses are those who maintain a strong work ethic even if they are in a job they don’t particularly like. It is those rare individuals that have a strong sense of pride in all that they do and who pay attention to every detail, that will rise to places of success.

Joseph’s Godly character in temptation (v. 7-20). Joseph was a man who maintained his character even when tempted with sin. He did the right thing if even if it would cost him his job. How many of us would do that? Joseph was in a very difficult situation. He was damned if he did and he was damned if he didn’t. No matter what Joseph did in response to Potiphar’s wife, it was not going to turn out good and he knew it. Instead of giving in and taking the easy road that may have kept him his job, he did the right thing by resisting the temptation, knowing that is was going to cost him. Godly character is far more valuable than a position or success. Doing the right thing and having a clear conscience is much greater than getting that promotion or getting a raise. Keeping your Godly character is more important than keeping your job.

Joseph’s faithfulness in injustice (v. 21-40:23). After doing the right thing by resisting the temptation from Potiphar’s wife, he is falsely accused and thrown into prison. Most of us in this situation would have reacted in anger and would seek to retaliate. But, not Joseph. Joseph made the most of this difficult situation by focusing on three basic things.

  1. Waiting.

During his time in the prison, Joseph learned the art of waiting. However, as he waited, he did not just sit around. He did not complain and pout about his situation. He made the most of it by doing something. He was such a good worker that the guard of the prison gave Joseph a leadership position. There are times in our lives where we are called upon to wait. We are waiting on God to show us His plan or to deliver us from a difficult situation. Most of us would just sit there in discouragement. But, Joseph did something while he waited. Just because you are at a place in your life where you are waiting, does not mean you take a break from working and serving the Lord. While you are waiting, keep on serving. While you are waiting, keep on making a difference. While you are waiting, keep on working. I have seen some people sitting around waiting for the right job in their particular field while, at the same time, they complain about their finances. Here is some advice: get a job! While you are waiting for that opportunity, go flip some hamburgers or deliver pizzas. Don’t just sit there all day waiting on the phone to ring. Do something while you wait.

  1. Learning.

Joseph apparently gained the ability to interpret dreams. He also gained the respect of the other prisoners, so much so that they would come to Joseph for advice. Joseph was one who was constantly learning. His gift of interpreting dreams came from God, however, he would have never received such a gift if he had not listened to God. He was a learner. He made the most of his situation to learn from his experience and to gain the wisdom that he needed that would later prove to bring him to a place of prominence. When we are in difficult situations, we should look for opportunities to learn from our situation. God has a way of teaching us through the everyday circumstances of our lives. We should look for every opportunity to learn.

  1. Trusting.

When the butler was restored to his place of service, he forgot all about Joseph. For two more years, Joseph stayed in that prison. Through it all, he trusted in God’s way and in His timing. Many times we will get ourselves into trouble because we are not trusting in God. We fail to understand that God’s way is always the best way. God does not operate on our timetable. Part of growing in our faith is trusting that God knows what He is doing.

As you find yourself in difficult situations, follow the example of Joseph. Make the most of whatever situation you are in and trust that God will see you through.

 

We have all been in difficult situations. We have all been in situations where we were looking for a way to escape. Joseph found himself in a very difficult situation. He was sold into slavery and found himself in a strange place, the land of Egypt. He was away from his family and was taken from everything he knew. However, Joseph serves as an example to us all as a man who made the most of a difficult situation.

Joseph’s prosperity in slavery (v. 1-6). Joseph was a slave. He was a commodity. However, Joseph had a way of being successful in everything that he did. Even as a slave, Joseph had such a strong work ethic and exercised such wisdom that he was given charge over all of Potiphar’s house. God’s favor was upon Joseph and everything he set his hands to do prospered. Men like Joseph are rare. His success came as a result of his unwavering faith in God and his strong work ethic. He truly believed that everything he did was for the glory of God. Even though he was in a place that he did not want to be and even though he was forced into his position, he made the most of it. You may find yourself in a difficult situation at work, but are you making the most of it? You may not like where you are at or what you do, but are you doing your best anyways? You see, the people that are most successful in life are those who work hard and do their best in everything for the glory of God. The people that God blesses are those who maintain a strong work ethic even if they are in a job they don’t particularly like. It is those rare individuals that have a strong sense of pride in all that they do and who pay attention to every detail, that will rise to places of success.

Joseph’s Godly character in temptation (v. 7-20). Joseph was a man who maintained his character even when tempted with sin. He did the right thing if even if it would cost him his job. How many of us would do that? Joseph was in a very difficult situation. He was damned if he did and he was damned if he didn’t. No matter what Joseph did in response to Potiphar’s wife, it was not going to turn out good and he knew it. Instead of giving in and taking the easy road that may have kept him his job, he did the right thing by resisting the temptation, knowing that is was going to cost him. Godly character is far more valuable than a position or success. Doing the right thing and having a clear conscience is much greater than getting that promotion or getting a raise. Keeping your Godly character is more important than keeping your job.

Joseph’s faithfulness in injustice (v. 21-40:23). After doing the right thing by resisting the temptation from Potiphar’s wife, he is falsely accused and thrown into prison. Most of us in this situation would have reacted in anger and would seek to retaliate. But, not Joseph. Joseph made the most of this difficult situation by focusing on three basic things.

  1. Waiting.

During his time in the prison, Joseph learned the art of waiting. However, as he waited, he did not just sit around. He did not complain and pout about his situation. He made the most of it by doing something. He was such a good worker that the guard of the prison gave Joseph a leadership position. There are times in our lives where we are called upon to wait. We are waiting on God to show us His plan or to deliver us from a difficult situation. Most of us would just sit there in discouragement. But, Joseph did something while he waited. Just because you are at a place in your life where you are waiting, does not mean you take a break from working and serving the Lord. While you are waiting, keep on serving. While you are waiting, keep on making a difference. While you are waiting, keep on working. I have seen some people sitting around waiting for the right job in their particular field while, at the same time, they complain about their finances. Here is some advice: get a job! While you are waiting for that opportunity, go flip some hamburgers or deliver pizzas. Don’t just sit there all day waiting on the phone to ring. Do something while you wait.

  1. Learning.

Joseph apparently gained the ability to interpret dreams. He also gained the respect of the other prisoners, so much so that they would come to Joseph for advice. Joseph was one who was constantly learning. His gift of interpreting dreams came from God, however, he would have never received such a gift if he had not listened to God. He was a learner. He made the most of his situation to learn from his experience and to gain the wisdom that he needed that would later prove to bring him to a place of prominence. When we are in difficult situations, we should look for opportunities to learn from our situation. God has a way of teaching us through the everyday circumstances of our lives. We should look for every opportunity to learn.

  1. Trusting.

When the butler was restored to his place of service, he forgot all about Joseph. For two more years, Joseph stayed in that prison. Through it all, he trusted in God’s way and in His timing. Many times we will get ourselves into trouble because we are not trusting in God. We fail to understand that God’s way is always the best way. God does not operate on our timetable. Part of growing in our faith is trusting that God knows what He is doing.

As you find yourself in difficult situations, follow the example of Joseph. Make the most of whatever situation you are in and trust that God will see you through.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s