Photo by Scott Goodwill
Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household and entrusted to his care everything he owned.Genesis 39:4 NIV
The back story here is that Joseph is sold by his brothers (because they were envious of him), to the Ishmaelites who then bring him to Egypt. Genesis 37
He ends up in Potiphar’s house as a slave. Jacob’s favorite son was now a slave in a foreign country. Joseph isn’t in Potiphar’s house by accident. It is by divine orchestration; God used the unfortunate situation and turned it for good. Potiphar’s house was Joseph’s preparation place to be able to rule in Egypt. He would learn everything he needs to learn in this house and as a slave!
Something stands out in this heartbreaking situation, God was with Joseph. In this circumstance, Joseph couldn’t have imagined himself in a million years. We are told, the Lord was with Joseph so he prospered, and lived in the house of his Egyptian master. Genesis 39:2
Our perspective will change when we know that God is with us in everything.
Here are a few things we can learn from Joseph:
Don’t waste seasons.
It’s very easy to interpret situations with our human understanding instead of trusting the Lord. And when we do this, we miss the importance of the season we are in. God doesn’t tell Joseph that he was in Potiphar’s house for preparation and that there were things he needed to learn for the next season. God just threw Joseph into it and watched to see how he would steward it.
You could be crying to God to remove you from an unfair circumstance. While God is saying, ” It’s a learning season and I’m preparing you for what’s next.” There is nothing that God cannot use in our lives for His glory but we have to participate. If we are bitter and careless in things that we are meant to grow in and mature into who God has called us to be, we will never get to our purposes in God.
Guard your heart.
Whenever life throws us a curveball we are tempted to be bitter and hard-hearted because we feel like God has failed us. We never see God’s full intentions until in hindsight. It is important to guard our hearts and make sure that we are growing the right things.
Joseph could have walked around bitter and angry at the turn of the events of his life. But he doesn’t, he gets up and makes the best of this situation. He could have been sitting around all day gossiping with other slaves and slaking in his work. but we are told. The Lord gave him success in everything he did. Genesis 39:3 God cannot give us success where we are neglecting our responsibilities. He cannot give us success where we are taking shortcuts. But he will give success to the one who does everything with diligent hands.
When we guard our hearts, we can be able to produce the results we need to produce no matter the situation.
God will use unexpected people for our transformation.
Potiphar was the chosen vessel for Joseph’s transformation. He wasn’t godly and this means there were probably some things about him that Joseph didn’t like. God is more interested in the response of our hearts when people treat us unjustly than in what they are doing to us. He isn’t a mean father, but, if it will bring us transformation, God will allow it.
Don’t get mad at the people God allowed to bring some things into your life. Sometimes we can be convinced we need to get out of some situations. Or that God needs to deal with those people but they are the exact people we need to bring the change that God wants to see. Your mean boss could be the vessel of your transformation. Your wicked colleague could be the vessel that God has chosen to make you look like His Son.
Pay attention to what or whom God is making available for you in this season. You could be standing right in front of the opportunity that you asked God for but can’t see it because it came dressed differently.
In Potiphar’s house, Joseph would learn how to be a government official. He would learn how to be a leader and would learn how to steward national matters. It was so critical that he paid attention.
What does God want you to learn? Maybe that CEO is teaching how to lead a successful company, but you can’t see it because he is ungodly. Sometimes God will use the people of the world to teach us some things we cannot learn anywhere else. Or your serving that pastor is training you how to lead a worldwide ministry. Or God is teaching how to build a successful business through that small business owner. anyone can be used by God, don’t despise people.
The lessons will not be obvious they will be hidden in our choice to submit to the people and situations that God has us in. We will only be able to see them when we respond correctly.
Sow correctly, reaping season will come.
Sow wholeheartedly, it’s not the people you serve that give you a harvest, it’s God. God can see you serving and doing more than is expected of you. God can see you pouring your everything into someone else’s dream as if it was ours. God can see us serving people who don’t necessarily acknowledge our input.
However, reaping season will come. Build your dream company by working well for your boss. Work the way you would like people to come work for you. Serve in ministry the way you would like people to come serve alongside you. Invest in what you would like to produce in your life. People may not reward us but God will.
Remember God has an uncanny way of doing things. He will not tell you that you are in preparation, but He will lead you and show you what you need to do. He will not tell you that this thing is qualifying you for what’s next, but He will grace you to make the right choices.
I pray, like Joseph you will be able to make the most out of your situation regardless of how it came about. And for God’s glory, you will grow and be transformed right in the midst of difficult stuff.