From slave to ruler.
Rejected to accepted.
I think we all want to be used by God. I think most of us wouldn't mind if God promoted us or put us in a position of leadership. But the beginning of Joseph's story- actually the first 30 years of his life- weren't so easy.
What does this time when everything seems to be going wrong teach us about patient endurance and waiting to see God's goodness and glory in our lives?
Joseph's brother's didn't like him.
Joseph had to work as a slave.
Joseph's slave master's wife tried to get him to sleep with her, which resulted in him being fired even though he remained pure.
There were many difficulties. Why do you think so many Bible characters experienced so many difficulties and struggles in their life time? And how do you think that affected Joseph's character?
Should we expect to experience difficulties in our life? And how should we respond to them? (Read Matthew 10:22)
Contrast the similarities and differences between Joseph and Jesus.
-Jesus too waited until about 30 years to begin his ministry.
-Both Jesus and Joseph started in un-ideal, situations of poverty- but because of their righteousness they became respected and leaders in society.
-Both Jesus and Joseph overcame temptations. And as well, both Jesus and Jesus ended up saving many of their people.
- Both Jesus and Joseph forgave.
-Jesus will be the only Savior who can offer us eternal life.
- Only Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
Joseph had a very dramatic story of growing up into a family where he was very loved by his dad, but not highly favored with his brothers. He was cast off from his family, sold away as a SLAVE. It must have been terrifying and scary, Joseph surely questioned what God was doing but yet Joseph prevailed...
What does Joseph teach us about serving where God puts us and being faithful in the job we are doing even if it seems small or meaningless?
To me the story of Joseph speaks alot about serving where we are planted. That no matter what circumstance God puts us in, no matter how difficult, or how broken, God can always re-write good out of these situations. And that even if we are doing a job we don't love, we need to be faithful in it.
Our job is not to question God when he puts us in a workplace that is challenging or if we feel angry that there is a better job we do not have. Joseph seems to illustrate endurance and faithfulness even in the miserable times of his life- like having to work hard as a slave.
Our life is a journey we continue to grow in and our characters are consistently being formed by the decisions we make. Joseph shows us that not only do situations determine our life, but if we have the right attitude and faith in God, we can rise above, even in prison.
Joseph decided that no matter what the world threw at Him, he would remain committed to God. He believed He was chosen by God and highly favored and loved. This gave him strength to stay pure and righteous in the midst of difficult situations.