“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
One of the greatest examples of this scripture can be found in the story of Joseph. When we look at everything that he went through, we see more unpleasant events than good ones. No doubt, when he was going through them, he did not see them as being good. But God had a plan and a purpose for his life and allowed each event to shape him and make him ready for the time when it would be revealed.
Can you remember when you were seventeen years old? Like most of us, you probably made some wrong decisions and did some foolish things. Looking at Joseph, one big mistake he made was sharing his dreams with his brothers. They already hated him because he was “Daddy’s favourite.” Also, they knew that he told his father anything wrong that he saw them doing. By telling them that he dreamed of ruling over them all, he made them hate him more than ever.
There are a couple of lessons that we can learn from this part of Joseph’s life:
- Parents should be very careful not to treat one child differently from another. Of course, each of our children has different talents and abilities which we need to recognize and do whatever we can to help them develop their skills. Jacob loved Joseph more, probably because he was the first son that Rachel bore, and we know that she was his first choice in marriage.
- Be careful to whom you tell your dreams and aspirations. God was showing Joseph something about his future that was not meant for others to know at this time. Often God speaks to us because He wants us to prepare for something in the future. It is best to just keep it to ourselves, pray about it, and prepare in any way we can, but wait for God to open the door. If you need to share, find someone you can trust to keep it to themselves.
The key word in this scripture in Romans is “together.” Everything that happens in our lives may not be good. But when we have surrendered our lives to God, and are diligently seeking His will, we can look back and see where everything that happens is part of God’s plan and will fulfill His purpose in the end.
Over the next few days, we will look more at the life of Joseph, and consider other lessons we can learn.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your Word and for the examples that you have given us to live by. Open our hearts to receive the lessons you have for us.
Devotion by Anne Johnston