by Leona Laico Galal
It is very easy to have faith for a positive outcome when all is going well in our lives.
It is very hard to remain faithful when life throws us a bunch of lemons.
That old adage, to make lemonade when life gives you lemons sounds so easy, but in reality
when you are in the heat of trouble, it is very hard to apply.
For the believer it is God that we believe holds us all in His hands.
Even we that believe may become distraught and just fall into despair.
There are ways in which we can boost our faith when in the heat of troubles.
The first is to be sure that we are walking in God’s favor by being sure we have repented of all that is sinful in our lives, and that we are saved by belief in Jesus Christ as God’s Son.
Pray daily, make God first place in your day. Read the Scriptures daily. It is by reading God’s Word, that we gain knowledge of the Word, to be able to apply it when the devil attacks.
The Bible accounts of the people of God, gives us hope, and also are examples of what to do, as well as what not to do.
Joseph, the elder of two of Jacob’s sons from his beloved wife Rachael, was a young man who had a heart for God. He was innocent in that the great favor that God put on him, did not make him proud, but as he relayed the dreams God gave him, did so with assurance that God was with him.
Here is a quick look at the timeline of Joseph’s life as it changed forever beginning at age 17
He was 17 when he was sold into Egypt (so in prison from 17- to age 30)
He was 30 when he was made overseer over all Egypt
He was 39 when his brothers first came to Egypt (second year of the famine, or nine years after being made overseer)
He was probably 41 or so when the brothers came a second time and Jacob comes to Egypt
He was 110 when he died
He was favored by Jacob because of his heart and because he was a child of Jacob’s old age. This as many of us know, caused his other ten brothers, excluding Benjamin, the youngest, to be very jealous of Joseph. They resented their father’s favor to him so much so, that they decided to kill him.
When Joseph came to check on his brothers as his father asked him to do, they already plotted in t evil against him, even as they saw him walking toward them.
Reuben saved Joseph from death, although he did not pull him out of the hole and help him escape, prior to being sold, nor did he chase after the Ishmaelite traders, but also shared in the money received from them.
Deception also entered in as they took Josephs beautiful coat and soaked it in the blood of an animal to show to their father.
They covered their sin, and had no caring for the immense grief they would cause their elderly father.
Joseph was taken away to Egypt at age 17. He was hungry, tired, and alone. He was to be sold as a slave. Think about this situation and think of how we might handle this.
Joseph did not curse God, but continued in his prayer and cried out to God, always worshipping Him and trusting Him.
Joseph had God’s favor on him. Many would not see this, but even being sold to Potiphar, he was favored and blessed. God raised him up with Potiphar and Joseph was in charge of all in his house.
Potiphar’s wife had her eye on Joseph to be her lover, but Joseph remained faithful to God and loyal to Potiphar.
She was so angry at him when she propositioned him and he ran, she grabbed his garment and kept it, screaming that he had raped her.
Now Joseph was thrown in prison. In the natural, most people would be angry at God, complaining that they had been faithful when first taken as a slave, and now in prison. Not Joseph. He continued to pray and trust God. He was once again favored in prison. He was in charge of all and God blessed him right where he was. He had an attitude of gratitude and God honored it. God could have kept him in prison and not favored him there and still accomplished all God had planned. He did not do that. He prospered Joseph in prison, right where he was, making his imprisonment immensely easier than it could have been.
Now two of Pharaoh’s servants the baker and the butler, were put in prison with Joseph. They had committed some infraction against Pharaoh. Joseph heard them telling their dreams to each other, wondering what the dreams meant.
Joseph having the gift of interpretation, gave them the correct interpretation. One was favorable for the butler and one led to the death of the baker. All came to pass just as Joseph told them.
When the butler was restored to the palace Joseph asked him to remember him to Pharaoh. The man forgot Joseph for two more years!
Joseph still did not give up. He did not curse God, but continued to work at each menial task and excelled in all he did. He now had the favor of the guards, had good food, and was overseer of the prison! He did not grumble against God. He did not complain, but blossomed where God had planted him.
Pharaoh had two disturbing dreams where he saw thin emaciated cows eat the fat cows and similarly, saw fat ears of corn devour thin and blighted corn. He could not get any interpretation from his palace magicians. Finally, the butler remembered Joseph, and told Pharaoh about him in prison and the two dreams he had interpreted accurately.
Joseph was brought to Pharaoh, and gave the correct interpretation. Pharaoh was so impressed he put Joseph in charge of Egypt, second only to himself. Joseph knew a great famine was coming from God’s insight to him, by the interpretation of the dreams God gave to Pharaoh. He prepared, and all the skills he learned while in prison enabled him to organize, and to store vast amounts of grain.
Finally the famine hit and All Egypt went to Joseph to buy grain. This made the Pharaoh even wealthier. All people came from all over the Middle East to buy grain, including Joseph’s brothers.
They came, and eventually were reunited and forgiven, and the family moved to Egypt to reside in the land of Goshen. So then the Jews were there four-hundred years.
Joseph forgave his brothers. He had the right attitude, in that he spoke to his family telling them that what was meant for evil God used for good.
God elevated Joseph where he was in every situation because of his faith and trust.
In the end God blessed him with a wife and two sons, Joseph named Ephraim (means fruitful ) and Manasseh (means causing to forget.) I heard a teaching where the pastor explained how Joseph literally named his sons by the attitude he had about his hard life. He forgot his hard past, held no grudge and was fruitful and blessed.
He had wealth, prestige, and his father and family reunited.
Have faith! God is there even in the pit, as He was with Joseph.
Bloom where you are planted until God uproots you and moves you somewhere else!