Genesis Chapters 37 and 39-50
It was Mother’s Day afternoon when Joyce and I lost our baby Philip to crib death. As we drove later that day to be with our family, we passed by the little church I pastored, holding its evening service. We heard them singing, “No, never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.” I would not take anything for the conscious presence of God.
A young man named Joseph had a life that was unexplainable apart from the presence of God. In unspeakable situations, throughout his story you hear that God was with Joseph. He never lost sight of his dreams.
Joseph is the most Christ-like character in the Old Testament. He was thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, trafficked to a foreign country, falsely accused by his master’s wife, and unjustly thrown into prison.
Yet Joseph maintained his integrity, rose through the ranks, became Prime Minister of Egypt, and saved both Egypt and his own family from starvation. Repeatedly it’s clear “the Lord was with Joseph…” Read the dramatic story for yourself in Genesis 37-50. It’s like the script of an Oscar-winning movie.
You may believe your dreams are over. The greatest tragedy would be to come to your deathbed and find you’ve never lived. Here are four principles from Joseph’s life for realizing the fulfillment of your God-given dreams:
Express your God-given difference
When God saved you, He made you different. We are nobility in the Lord Jesus Christ, “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, God’s own special people” (1 Peter 2:9).
A child of God is different. What we believe starts at a different source, follows a different course, and ends at a different conclusion. We’re twice-born people in a one-born world. Like Joseph, you’ll stand out like a diamond against dark velvet.
Explore God-given dreams
God put a dream into young Joseph’s heart, and God has a plan for your life. Here’s how to find it:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
Endure God-given difficulties.
When there’s a God-given dream, there will be God-given difficulties. He doesn’t cause them; He allows them. God didn’t cause Potiphar’s wife to accuse Joseph of rape. Wherever man rules, God overrules. No matter what Satan does, God is in control. Get a lock on that.
Enlist your God-given dynamic.
You have a dynamic force, Almighty God. He was with Joseph every step of the way. In prison, in the pit, in slander, persecution, suffering, pain and prosperity, “God was with him.”
Like Joseph, I want there to be something about me you cannot explain apart from the fact that God is with me. Through sorrows, through sickness, I don’t want God to take His hand off our lives.
God is in Christ, and if you want God with you, you need Jesus.