Friday, April 22, 2011

Joseph's Faith in the Sovereignty of God

 Joseph's Faith in the Sovereignty of God
By Zac Poonen

In Genesis 37:18, we read how Joseph’s elder brothers plotted to kill him. And we see the sovereignty of God here in making one of the brothers stop that plan and change it to selling Joseph off to some slave traders who were passing by at that time. Who sent those slave traders there at that time? God. God timed the travel of those Ishmaelite slave traders such that they would land up there exactly when Joseph was about to be killed. And those slave traders were going to Egypt, which was exactly where God wanted Joseph to go!! It is wonderful to see the sovereignty of God at work again and again in Joseph’s life. God has a plan and purpose for your life too, and nobody can frustrate it. Not your jealous brothers and not your foolish father, nobody. That’s what we see here.

By the time Joseph was 17, God had already revealed to Joseph in dreams that he had a purpose for his life. It is wonderful when a young man is so sensitive to God that at an age when most teenagers have filthy dreams, he has dreams from God! Young people, don’t ever complain that older brothers are not giving you an opportunity to serve God. If you sincerely submit to God, no-one can mess up God’s plan for your life. When I was young, many older brothers were jealous of my ministry. They suppressed me in many ways. They would not allow me to speak in the assembly I attended. So I used to preach the gospel on the streets where I did not need anyone’s permission to preach! And that was where God taught me to preach – on the streets. In the assembly meetings, God told me to humble myself under the elders who were jealous of me and never to rebel. Those were the years when God broke me like He broke Joseph. But none of those elders could hinder God’s plan for my life. When the time came, God opened doors for me and His plan for my life was fulfilled. I say that for your encouragement.  So don’t ever complain against people. The only person who can mess up God’s plan for your life is you yourself. Remember that.

God used the jealousy of Joseph’s brothers to fulfil His plan for Joseph’s life by getting them to sell him off to Egypt. God makes the evil that others plan against us to work for our good and for the fulfilment of His purposes. Hallelujah! If God protected us against the evil that other people try to do to us, that itself would be a great thing. But God does something even better! He makes the very evil that others do to us to fulfil His plan for our life! Isn’t that much better, when God turns the tables on Satan like that? Just think - if Joseph’s brothers were not jealous of him but were good to him instead, Joseph might never have gone to Egypt. How did Joseph go to Egypt? Step One: His brothers were jealous of him. Step Two: They sold him off to some slave-traders. Step Three: The slave traders took him to Egypt and sold him off there. Thus God’s plan to take Joseph to Egypt was fulfilled! So, some of the evil things that others are doing to harm you will ultimately only fulfill God’s plan for your life – if you love God (Rom.8:28). You may face a few trials. Joseph had a tough time as a slave too. But it fulfilled God’s plan for his life. Praise the Lord!

A man of faith will say, “The God of Joseph is my God too. If I love God with all my heart, any number of people can be jealous of me, any number of people can plan evil against me. But they will not hinder God’s plan from being fulfilled in my life.” May you have such faith in our wonder-working God.
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