“How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”
Gen. 39:9b; NASB
Have you ever thought God must have something against you? Maybe you’ve prayed consistently for a situation to change but so far, it has only gotten worse. Or after praying for an answer all you come up with is more questions. We have all had times like these. Our faith is sometimes tested to where we wonder whether God is hearing us, or worse, ignoring us. This can bring on feelings of anger toward God, or that we have done something wrong leading to God being angry with us.
Joseph had every reason to be mad at God. His brothers hated him. Partly because he was his father’s favorite, and partly because he had dreams where he would one day rule over them. At first, they wanted to kill him. In fact, they would have had his oldest brother Reuben not stepped in. Reuben convinced them to throw him into a pit hoping he could come back and rescue him. This was not because he felt any differently toward Joseph than his brothers did. It was because Joseph’s safety was his responsibility. Had Joseph been harmed, their father would hold Reuben responsible. They ended up selling him to a band of traders who sold him to Potiphar, the captain of the Egyptian Pharaoh’s bodyguard.
Through it all, God was with Joseph and he became a successful man. Potiphar put him in charge of everything. Life was good. There wasn’t anything under Potiphar’s roof that wasn’t under Joseph’s control, except his wife. This didn’t last long though. She started making sexual advances toward Joseph. His reply to her was not that he would violate his boss’s trust, but that it would be a “sin against God” for him to accommodate her wishes. Joseph’s concern was in how he stood in God’s eyes, not anyone else’s. This did not end well for Joseph however, at least not at the time.
When Potiphar returned home, his wife lied to him, accusing Joseph of trying to rape her. Potiphar promptly threw him in prison. Despite all this, Joseph remained faithful that God was with him, even though it might not have seemed so at the time. Joseph’s faith resulted in him becoming wealthy and powerful. In the end he was able to save his family from the famine (including the brothers who hated him), bringing them to live under his watchful, loving care.
If God feels distant to you right now, do not lose heart. Having faith is a choice. You can choose to faithfully expect that God has not abandoned you and continue praying and listening. He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins through the Blood of Jesus, (see 1John 1:8-9). He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Our faith will be tested many times throughout our walk with Christ. We can be confident that our Lord and Savior hears our prayers and will answer them in His time and in His way. The path to contentment is accepting by faith, that His way is The Way.
Have a great week and God bless.
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