Exodus 1: 6 to 2:10
"The Positive Side of Affliction"
Part I (Painting the Picture)
When we are in the heat of affliction we do not feel nor do we see the positive side that hardship is developing within us such as character, integrity, and change. We cannot visualize the spiritual growth that God is developing as He takes the opportunity to mature us in the faith because we are His children. All along the Potter (God) is molding, shaping, and forming His purpose, plans and destiny in each one of our lives, working out the greater plan He has for us we cannot yet see. When we are going through trials and tribulations, we find it hard to see the sufficient grace our Heavenly Father has extended to us, nor do we even realize the favor He has surrounded us with while we are in the midst of turmoil. But allow us to encourage you today! Know that in the midst of the pain, disappointments, hardships, and distress that God has a prefect plan and is working every situation out for our good because we love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Let us take a look at Josephs affliction and see what it is God is encouraging us with in His word. In Genesis chapter 37 we see the beginning of Josephs life. We learn that he is highly favored of his father and is a child whom God has chosen to reveal His plans to concerning his life. We also learn because of that favor and his dreams, his brothers hated him with such intensity that they actually had come up with a plan to kill him. However, one of his brothers stopped the blood shed and instead they sold him into slavery. I will stop there for now to share some things with you. God showed Joseph the outcome, the victory, the greatness he would encounter, but not the hardships he would go through as he was moved towards the plans the Father had for him. Joseph may have been aware of the hatred his brothers had for him, but I do not believe he was aware of the intensity of that hatred which was to get rid of him once and for all. I am quite sure after having his dreams, which God revealed him having dominion over his family that he did not expect to be a slave to Pharaoh. How can a slave have dominion? Here he is in a place he is not aware of. Culture far different from his. A place of unfamiliarity! Kind of what we experience when we are in the midst of trials. Whats going on? God I was doing so well! I thought I was in Your perfect will? Whats happening? Why me? It didnt stop there! In that place of unfamiliarity, that place of not knowing what was going on, God extended Joseph favor by Pharaoh and the reason that favor was extended was to reveal to Pharaoh that Joseph had been given the ability to cause Egypt to prosper. It was in the midst of this new place God had Joseph in, that he began to flourish and right in the midst of him flourishing, right in the midst of him finally getting a breather, finally getting use to the new territory, the wife of Pharaoh tries to seduce Joseph and began to chase after him. Refusing to submit to her ploys of seduction, refusing to sin against his God, and Pharaoh, Joseph runs, leaving his clothes in her hands. He is than thrown into prison for something he did not do. Yet the favor of God was still with him, because the accusation that was against him was a cause for the death penalty. While in prison for who knows how long, he still operated in the favor of God. He was still able to interpret dreams. Which leads us to believe that God was still in communication with him even in the midst of all the hardship he was experiencing. He saw the outcome, but not what he would go through to fulfill all that God had shown him prior to getting there. Until next week! Stay Tuned!!!