Joseph’s Difficulties and Me? (Gen 39)


As we read Joseph’s story again, you may realize as you get older that our difficulties are nothing compared to what he went through. But before we get to the turning point of maturity, most of us feel that what we go through is bad, something that no one will understand. But what we have in common with Joseph is that we are all God’s children. If we reflect on Joseph’s life difficulties, we realize God must understand our difficulties and will provide a way out for us in order to overcome. As Joseph’s life was in God’s hand and His salvation plan, so are our lives, are they not?

Facing Difficulties Head-On

Some people want to escape from difficulties they are facing. But Joseph faced them head-on. Joseph was with God as God was with Joseph. He did not choose to commit suicide. He faced everything step by step to overcome his difficulty.

Joseph never let his situation cloud his perception of his relationship with God. Whether in good days or bad days, Joseph always knew he had a relationship with God. God was always there for him and with him. Joseph might have weathered many episodes of his brothers’ cold-shouldered responses by interceding for his brothers and taking the matter to the Lord. In Joseph’s heart, God was always with him no matter what might happen in his life.

Joseph had a character that pointed him to do the right thing in any situation. Following his father’s instruction to look for his brothers led him to what most people would deem as a bad situation. But Joseph never let the bad situation affect his attitude towards doing the right thing in any situation. In fact, doing the right thing helped him out of bad situations.

Joseph was never one for self-pity. Instead of wasting time, Joseph made good use of the situation he was in. Whether in Potiphar’s house or under the jailer’s governing, he made himself useful. He did not just do the bare minimum. He would not be outstanding if he did so. Instead, Joseph went all out to do everything to benefit others. Joseph was not looking for reward, but benefits for others.

God was with Joseph every step of the way. Joseph saw value in his life for others and he made himself a chance to stand up for God’s word when he was faced with temptation. Mysteriously, God unfolded the reason and value of what he had gone through when his brothers came to Egypt and met him. Everything was clear.


Next time when you go through a rough patch in life, why not orientate your thinking with trust in the Lord. We can say to God in our prayers: “God, I don’t like what I am going through. But since You are my Savior and the Lord of Joseph’s life, with endurance I am willing to go through this and see what is on the other side. I pledge that my life is Yours and I trust that I will see the bigger picture as You have planned for me. Please hold me together as I learn to take each step of my life with You so that in the end, I will be able to bear witness for You in the assembly of the righteous. Amen.”

I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
(Ps 40:9-10)

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