Lessons from Joseph

How many of life’s lessons have you learned through the “school of hard knocks” ? I’ve certainly learned a few that way. They make great testimonies— if you survive them, but I don’t recommend it. There’s a better way!

God’s Word is full of the good and bad experiences of men and women of old, placed there as examples for you and me. I decided a long time ago that a study of those examples is a much better way and a lot less painful way to learn.

Through the study of their lives, I know I have gained the wisdom and understanding to make decisions that have allowed me to avoid many of the hard knocks that come through trial and error. First Corinthians 10:11 says,
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [examples]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”

One of my favorite characters is Joseph. Next to Jesus, Joseph may be the greatest example of godly character and integrity in the Bible. Joseph’s story began with a dream at the age of seventeen. He knew the dreams he was having were from the Lord and that they revealed God’s purpose and plans for his life. Genesis 37:6-7 and 9 say,
“And he [Joseph] said unto them [his family], Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance [bowed] to my sheaf.”

“And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”

Joseph believed what the Lord had spoken, and he immediately announced it to his family: “God told me that all of you will bow down to me someday!” Some believe that Joseph made a mistake when he shared this vision, but I believe he was simply excited about hearing from the Lord and shared it in simple faith and humility, not arrogance. However, this bold announcement only served to draw his father’s rebuke and feed his brothers’ growing hatred. (Gen. 37:8, 10-11).

Joseph had heard from God. He now had a purpose, or a vision, for his life, even if it wasn’t received by others. You were created for a divine purpose as well! God may not speak to you through a dream, but if you will become determined to know His plan for your life, He will reveal it to you.

As long as you can live without knowing His will for your life, you will . If you’re not fulfilled in what your doing, even if things seem to be going well, don’t wait any longer; don’t settle for anything less than knowing God’s purpose for your life. The Bible makes it very clear in Ephesians 5:17 where it says,
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Not only will the pursuit of your vision bring fulfillment, it will keep you on track. Joseph’s vision kept him on track during very difficult times and when faced with great temptation. Proverbs 29:18 says it this way,
“Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint” (American Standard Version).

Your God-given dream, or purpose, will inspire you, motivate you, and help restrain your flesh in the absence of any evidence that it’s coming to pass. And don’t be surprised if some of your fiercest opposition comes from those close to you. It did for Joseph.
Joseph understood that what God had spoken to him and declared about him was true no matter what the circumstances indicated. Genesis 39:2 is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture because it defies the logic of Joseph’s circumstances. It says,
“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

God’s Word declares that Joseph was “a prosperous man.” This was at a time in his life when He was serving as a slave! His own brothers had sold him into slavery and told his father he was dead. No longer the wealthy, well-dressed, favorite son, Joseph found himself on an auction block in a foreign land, stripped of everything—including his clothes. His rich Egyptian master stood beside him with all of the extravagance that came with abundant wealth, but the Bible forever records Joseph as being the truly prosperous one . That’s Awesome!

God views prosperity much differently than we do! Material things are not indicative of prosperity. True prosperity is knowing that God is with you. True prosperity is keeping His vision alive in your heart. True prosperity is not wealth itself but God’s favor, anointing, and power that work in your life to obtain it. Deuteronomy 8:18 says,
“Thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant.”

Joseph believed he was prosperous because he knew prosperity came from God, not man. He had an image on the inside that was not affected by circumstance, and it enabled Joseph to operate in faith. Instead of licking his wounds and complaining, Joseph served others and ministered wholeheartedly to their needs. As he diligently labored, God blessed the work of his hands. Continue Reading

Source: Andrew Wommack Ministries

Jesus loves you, accept Him today, tomorrow may be too late.

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