The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed. Genesis 39:23
When we face hard times, we have two options for responding. We can choose to be faithful and trust God through it, or we can be bitter. While growing in bitterness during hard times is tempting and may seem easier, growing in faithfulness produces growth and a deeper relationship with Christ. One of the greatest examples in Scripture that we have of this is the story of Joseph, who did not let his difficult, even impossible circumstances, produce bitterness. Instead, he lived faithfully every step of the way.
In our Bible study of Joseph, we left off yesterday when he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Even in his difficulties, he became the head servant of Potiphar’s house, a man who was captain of the guard for Pharaoh and second to the king of Egypt (verse 1). I do not know about you, but I would be completely shut down and bitter after being sold into slavery in a new country. However, this is not what Joseph did. He instead got to work. God was with him, and Joseph worked hard. He lived faithfully to God and honored Him through his actions. His faithfulness eventually earned him the role of Potiphar’s personal assistant. For a time, things went well for Joseph. This lasted until Potiphar’s wife attempted to get Joseph to have an affair with her. Joseph refused, and out of retaliation, Potiphar’s wife got Joseph thrown in prison. If there was ever a time to become bitter, it was now. Even still, Joseph chose faithfulness. He lived so faithfully, and ultimately he impressed the prison’s warden so much that Joseph was put in charge of all other prisoners. Throughout all of this, Scripture teaches that “The Lord was with [Joseph] and caused everything he did to succeed” (verse 23). I believe this was because of Joseph’s faithfulness.
My friend, we all face hard, even unspeakable, times in our lives. We do not get to choose whether or not we will face trials, but we get to choose how we will respond to them. The question is, how will we respond? Will we let bitterness overtake us, or will we choose to live faithful, honoring God in everything we do? I do not know about you, but I want to choose faithfulness.
Take a few moments to be honest with yourself. Have you let the circumstances that you are facing produce bitterness in you? How has that bitterness impacted you? Are you ready today to let go of bitterness and step toward faithfulness instead? What is one way you can take that step toward faithfulness today? Maybe you need to practice gratitude instead of harboring feelings of bitterness. Maybe you need to start serving in the church even in the middle of the hard time you are facing. Whatever the case, commit today to let go of bitterness and choose faithfulness instead.
Genesis 39:1-23 (NLT)
When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt.
The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat!
Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded.
But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible. One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.
When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.”
She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home. Then she told him her story. “That Hebrew slave you’ve brought into our house tried to come in and fool around with me,” she said. “But when I screamed, he ran outside, leaving his cloak with me!”
Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.
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