6th Nov 2012. By Dr. Lim Poh Ann –
Problems, one after another. But Joseph handled them well and moved from pit to prison to pinnacle of power.
When problems arise, do we react or respond positively?
Do we see the potential for good that problems bring?
Nobody fancies running into problems when we’re tackling a project or even when we’re on vacation. We often see problems as the little foxes that derail our big plans or dreams.
But obstacles can teach us a lot, especially in the areas of character and personal growth.
God gave Joseph a dream that he would be great – that his family members would come and bow down to him. But far from travelling down easy street towards his objective, he landed himself in hot soup. He was thrown into a pit by his jealous brothers and later sold off to slave traders.
Then he was imprisoned, being falsely accused for trying to sleep with Potiphar’s wife (whereas it was the latter who tried to seduce him). While in prison, God was with him and caused everything he did to succeed (Genesis 39:23)
Joseph maintained a positive attitude through thick and thin – that God was with him through it all. And, because of his faith, the man of God moved from pit to prison to the pinnacle of power in Egypt. He finally rose to the position of governor of Egypt, second in rank to Pharaoh.
Being in that position, he had great authority. After interpreting Pharaoh’s dream that seven years of famine would follow seven years of plenty, he moved ahead with plans to build storehouses to stockpile grain. When famine struck, his brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. As a mark of respect, they bowed down to him. Thus Joseph’s dream was finally fulfilled against seemingly impossible odds.
As a result of God’s dealings in his life, Joseph was able to say to his brothers: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive” (Genesis 50:20).
From the life of Joseph, we learn that God uses problems to enlarge us – that we might be able to fulfill our full potential for His glory.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
How do we profit from trials?
1. See trials as something positive.
2. Ask for wisdom to overcome the trials.
3. Have faith and patience while you wait for fulfillment of God’s promises.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:2-8).
“Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance” (Hebrews 6:12).
Crisis creates opportunity – Chinese proverb.
The fact is that life is either hard and satisfying or easy and unsatisfying –
Porridge For The Soul By Dr Lim Poh Ann
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