“The warden put all the prisoners who were in the prison under Joseph’s authority, and he was responsible for everything that was done there. The warden did not bother with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him, and the LORD made everything that he did successful.” - Genesis 39:22-23
My first three seasons as a varsity boys’ basketball coach were very successful. We won many games and advanced deep into the tournament each year. I remember having a very good attitude during those years. The next four years, however, weren't quite what I expected. My attitude deteriorated as I faced losing teams, losing jobs, moving my family and being rejected by friends.
Joseph, too, had a promising start. But after being sold into slavery by his family and thrown into prison on a false accusation, Joseph could have wallowed in self-pity and depression. But over and over again, however, we read that, as things got worse for Joseph, his true character showed through, and he thrived. He was entrusted with leadership and administration by some very responsible people in Egypt. In spite of his circumstances, he was a blessing to those around him, and everybody could see that God was with him.
I've often told my players that adversity reveals character. Joseph faced more than his share of adversity during which the character he demonstrated brought him favor with both God and man. His influence grew during the tough times, and God ultimately used him to save the entire Jewish people from the effects of a severe famine.
Through the story of Joseph, I have learned that tough times are opportunities for us to demonstrate godly character and gain influence with those who are paying attention: family members, co-workers and bosses, students, players and parents. I have also learned that the greater the adversity, the greater the responsibility it is for a Christian to demonstrate a complete reliance upon God for deliverance.
Your steadfast faith will be evidence of Him in your life and be a shining light to the world around you.
1. What circumstances do I allow to influence my attitude?
2. How do my family, job and team situations reflect my character? Do they reveal good character or significant areas of needed improvement?
3. How can I be a blessing to others even when I’m hurting?
Genesis 39:1-6a; 21-23 Luke 6:45 Philippians 4:4-7