When The Goings Get Tough
What do you do when things don’t go as you would want them to go? Do you complain to anyone who would listen about them or do you take it for what it is and make the most of it? Which one of these choices do you think would be honorable before God?
Joseph’s Bleak Situation
For Joseph, the situation that he was in was not the way he imagined it to be. He was sold by his jealous brothers to be a slave to a man named Potiphar in Egypt. Joseph had every reason to complain about his current situation.
As it turned out, as we read in Genesis 39:2-6, Joseph made the most of the situation. He proved to be a hard working servant; so much so that he was given high authority over the house of his master. Why would Joseph work so hard? Joseph recognized that his service was watched by not just his earthly master, but also by His God, whom he believed was still with him. Knowing that God is watching what you do can give you motivation to keep your integrity.
God is Never Absent
You would think, that after all the hardship that he had gone through, that Joseph would have thought that God had abandoned him. However, Joseph understood that God is never absent and that everything that happens is according to the path which the Lord had set before him. It was because of his understanding of God, that when he was given great authority over Potiphar’s house, he didn’t abuse the new position he was placed in because he knew it was by God’s power that he was given such an honor.
Keeping Integrity is Hard
It can be quite challenging to honor God in every situation. It is even more difficult when those who are around you don’t have the same view of God as you do. For Joseph, the challenge to his integrity came in the form of his master’s wife.
Persecution for Honoring God
In Genesis 39:7-10, we see Joseph constantly harassed sexually by the wife of Potiphar. Despite her many advances, he never compromised his integrity for to do so would bring dishonor to the God whom he served. However, the wife didn’t share Joseph’s faithfulness and when she was rejected, she persecuted him and accused him of the crime of rape (which he didn’t commit).
The Last Straw?
Potiphar, upon hearing his wife’s accusation, had Joseph arrested and placed into prison. I wonder if Joseph was asking himself as sat in his prison cell, “After all the things I did in honoring my God, and this is how He rewards me?!” You would think that now he finally decided to turn away from the Lord.
That was not the case as we read in Genesis 39:20-22. Instead of wallowing in despair, again Joseph made the most of the situation. He proved to be a responsible and honorable prisoner; so much so that he was given charge over the other prisoners.
Holding to God’s Promises
Joseph never compromised his integrity or dishonored God with the work that he was given. He persevered in the face of all the challenges that he faced. He remembered that the God whom he served was One who would never forsake those whom He has chosen and will fulfill the promises that He has given to Joseph through his dreams.
Make the Most of a Situation
So what would you do when things don’t go as you want them to go? Remember from the story of Joseph. Even when things are at their bleakest, God is never far away. Therefore let us make the most of every situation and honor God in them; never compromising our integrity.