Two Views

Genesis 40:1-43:34

Two Views

The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him…
Genesis 40:23

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream…
Genesis 41:1

So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon.
Genesis 41:14

Go Deep: As you read the prison portion of Joseph’s story, you can’t help but be impressed with this young man’s deep and abiding trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God.  Joseph believed in the core of his being that God was in control, and that God was fundamentally good, and those beliefs became settled law for Joseph.  Neither his current circumstances nor his emotions at the moment would trump the fact that his life was in God’s hands.  So when Joseph’s ticket out of prison, the cupbearer, forgot about him and when Joseph languished for another two years in a squalid Egyptian jail, Joseph trusted.

I would like to think that’s how I would react to the disappointing and hurtful things that will get thrown at me in life.  I’m guessing you would like to think that about yourself, too.  The “Joseph way” is certainly a heroic way to do life—and one that must be so pleasing to the Father who takes such delight in our trust.

But to live life like Joseph, you have to understand that there are two views of the road ahead.  The first view is the human perspective.  That is where you simply and only see what is right in front of you—which means that sometimes all you see are bumps, barriers and big, old hairy difficulties. Obviously, it is quite normal to look at the world from such a point of view; you are human, after all.  But if that is the only view you have, you will be prone to discouragement and enslaved to the emotional ups and downs that come from being slapped around by life.

What you really need to have in order to live the “Joseph way” is an eternal perspective. That is the other view, and it is a grand one! The “Joseph way” of viewing life comes only by way of fundamental trust in the care and competence of your Heavenly Father.  It understands that while you may be languishing away in your prison of unexpected and undesirable circumstances, God is above it all and he clearly sees the road ahead of you.

If you can’t learn to enfold your human perspective into that kind divine perspective of ruthless trust in the God who is in control of all things and works all things to his glory and your good, get ready for a frustrating stay in Pharaoh’s prison.  If you can order your life by the “Joseph way”, everything that comes your way—especially the bad stuff—becomes fodder for the God who takes what was meant as harm and turns it to good. (Genesis 50:20)

Just Saying… One of my favorite writers, Brennan Manning, poignantly writes, “The splendor of a human heart which trusts that it is loved gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, the sight of ten thousand butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom.  Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for the love of it.”

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