“May the lives of great men remind us that we can make our lives sublime.” 

  Such a great example of greatness can be seen in the life of Joseph.  Joseph’s story is told in Genesis chapters 37 – 50.  These 14 chapters in the Book of Genesis give more space to Joseph than to any other single individual.  He is one of the few personalities in the Bible against whom there is no recorded major flaw.  Joseph walked close to God in spite of very unfavorable circumstances.  His life is a model of faithfulness.   Joseph is listed once in the New Testament in Hebrew 11:22 called the “Faith Chapter.”  Joseph trusted God in that his bones would be buried in the Promise Land, although he never saw it.  We think of Joseph as the man whom God took care of.  Joseph gained wealth, authority and power. God was the secret of Joseph’s success.   Genesis chapter 39 and the last part of verse 23, it states: “because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.”    We learn that with success comes greater responsibility.

  But, what I want you to see is how Joseph’s life was not a bed of roses.  He was not God’s fair haired boy, just to bless.   Do we realize that there were 13 years between Joseph being sold into slavery and being promoted in Egypt.
Those were years of hardship, frustration and rejection.  Yet, Joseph’s life from age 30 to 110, when he died, there is not one word of resentment in his heart or from his lips.
Not a word of blame against his brothers who sold him into slavery.
Not a word of bitterness against Potipher’s wife who tried to seduce him and then falsely accused him.
Not a word of rebuke against the cupbearer who had forgotten him in prison.
Joseph was eventually in a position to get even with all of them, but he didn’t.
Joseph never showed any resentment, bitterness, hostility, or desire for vengeance, therefore, God worked His work through Him.

  Charles Swindoll in his book on “Joseph” writes of Joseph as being “a man of integrity and forgiveness.”  In fact, it was because of those 13 years of hardship, that Joseph achieved his greatness.   One of my favorite books is “Pain, The Gift Nobody Wants.”  We know that it is pain that drives us to the doctor, it is pain that drives us to health, it is pain that drives us to salvation, and it is pain that drives us to God.  We need pain.

  A young woman sang a solo in front of a large audience. Her vocal technique was splendid, her intonation excellent, her range significant.  Coincidentally, the man who had written the piece of music she sang was sitting in the audience. When the young woman finished, the person sitting beside the composer leaned over and said, “Well, what do you think of her?”  Softly the composer responded, “She will be really great when something happens to break her heart.”  (“Joseph” by Charles Swindoll – Page 55)

  Paul wrote in Romans 5:3; “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”  There are benefits that come only through struggle.   No life evidences this truth more clearly than the life of Joseph. Don’t rob yourself of struggle


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