Do you know the story of Joseph? What a bad-luck-turned-good story. Talk about rags to riches! The story of Joseph, who is the first son of Jacob’s wife Rachel, begins in Genesis 37 and goes to the end of Genesis 50. Great story.
Today, we will just focus on how Joseph handled adversity. In Genesis 37, Joseph’s older brothers (born to Leah) did not like Joseph (probably for good cause as Joseph was a bit arrogant). They disliked him so much, they sold him into slavery and told his father that he had been killed by a wild animal. Bad news; how unfair.
While in slavery, Joseph was taken to Egypt and ultimately put into prison. He befriended a fellow prisoner who was released and could have helped Joseph, but he didn’t. Wow, that is really unfair.
Then, the Egyptian Pharaoh had a bad dream, and only Joseph could help him understand it. All of a sudden, Joseph was released from prison, put in as the #2 guy in Egypt, and saved the entire country from a famine. What a story! Yep, rags to riches.
But there is a twist. The same brothers who sold Joseph into slavery were sent to Egypt by their father to trade for food because the famine had impacted them as well. They had no idea that their little brother was now in charge of everything—they had assumed he was dead by now.
As the brothers stood before Joseph, realizing who he was, they expected to be executed for what they had done to him so many years before. But watch what happens; watch how Joseph deals with them:
But Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil, for he brought me to this high position I have today so that I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families.” And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them.
It’s all about the attitude. Today, let’s check our attitudes. Sure, sometimes life is unfair; we shouldn’t be in this spot; we don’t deserve this! Yep, all true. But we are here—so what do we do about it? We keep a positive attitude, we find the sunshine in our situation today, and we give glory to God—just like Joseph. And one more thing: we probably should pray for those who sold us into slavery, just like Joseph.