Tag Archives: Joseph

Getting Past the Pain

GETTING PAST THE PAIN

By Carolyn Dale Newell

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV

How do you rise above a tragedy? How does your world continue to turn after it’s been shaken? How does life go on when the prodigal fails to return? How do you pick up the pieces when you have lost a child or spouse? How do you heal from the abuse or abandonment haunting you?

For thirteen years, life robbed Joseph of his family and freedom. Even before his brothers sold him to slave traders, he lived with their hatred daily.

Once Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was purchased by Potiphar. Potiphar treated Joseph kindly. Surely, Joseph thought of home. He remembered his little brother, Benjamin. He missed his loving father, Jacob. Joseph depended on God in order to heal and move on with life. How do we know that?

Joseph lived a holy life worshipping God. He refused to taste the bitterness his circumstances offered him. When Potiphar’s wife plotted to seduce joseph, He fled. Joseph wanted nothing to do with her. He remained obedient to his Lord.

Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to seduce her, and Joseph was imprisoned.

No resentment yet! Even in harsh conditions, God was with Joseph, and God caused him to prosper.

In prison, Joseph met Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Joseph demonstrated his gift by explaining their dreams. The butler promised to remember joseph when he was released from prison. Like everyone in his life, the butler let Joseph down.

Two years later, Pharaoh cannot find anyone to interpret his dreams. Finally, the butler recalls his friend in prison. Joseph is summoned to Pharaoh’s castle.

Pharaoh describes his dreams, and Joseph explains they mean two things.

First, Egypt would experience seven years of plenty, but then, they would face seven years of famine. Joseph devised a system to collect grain in order to survive the famine.

Pharaoh promotes joseph to second in command under him. During the seven years Joseph was busy storing grain, he married an Egyptian woman.

Joseph and his bride had two boys. Joseph had his own family. A family that loved him. He was respected by all in Egypt. He lacked for nothing.

Did he remember his father and brothers? Did he hold a grudge?

In biblical times, a person’s name carried a definition. If we examine the names Joseph gave his children, we will discover God healed Joseph’s pain.

His first son’s name was Manasseh, and it means “for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51). The second child’s name was Ephraim, meaning “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:52).

Surely, Joseph lived according to the words Isaiah would write many years later (our focal verse). Joseph never dwelt on the past. God did a new thing in his life, and God will do a new thing in our lives too.

Nothing is too hard for God. He creates rivers in the dry barren desert. He heals the broken past. He mends our hearts that ache with memories. Will you trust God to do a miracle for you?

Lord, we ask You to heal our hearts and our broken lives like You healed Joseph’s heart. Ease the pain until it vanishes. Fill us with Your unspeakable joy. We praise and thank You in the name of Jesus. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 41:37-52.

HIKING THE TRAIL

How much do you pray for God to heal your heart? We often fail to ask God to heal sorrow and heartache, but He wants to make them new. Commit to pray and trust Him.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Separated or Isolated

 

SEPARATED OR ISOLATED

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17a NKJV

Do you feel cut off from your family because of your faith? Do co-workers ridicule you because you are a Christian? Do you feel alone in a room of so-called saints?

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, felt the same way. Jacob’s favoritism angered Joseph’s siblings. They hated Joseph and the coat of many colors Jacob made for him.

His brothers labeled Joseph as a tattletale. He reported honestly concerning his brothers and the flocks to Jacob, adding more fuel to their fire.

Joseph was a dreamer, and his interpretation of dreams were correct. In the first dream, they were binding sheaves. Joseph’s sheaf arose while his brothers’ sheaves bowed down around it. In the next dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him symbolizing his brothers plus his parents would bow down to him. This infuriated his brothers. Jacob rebuked Joseph, but kept the interpretation in his thoughts.

Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to check on his brothers and flocks. When Joseph arrived, a man told him his brothers had departed for Dothan. They conspired to murder Joseph as they watched him coming towards them. Reuben suggested they throw him in a pit. His plan was to rescue Joseph. Before Reuben could return for Joseph, his brothers put another plan into action. They spotted some Ishmaelites traveling in their direction. Now the young men plotted to make some money off of Joseph. They pulled him from the pit, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Soaking Joseph’s beloved coat in blood, they fabricated a story that led Jacob to believe Joseph was dead.

Joseph’s story is one of providence. God moved Joseph to Egypt where he was falsely accused and imprisoned until Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dreams. Then Joseph became second in command to Pharaoh, and yes, his family came and bowed down to him.

Joseph was righteous. God gifted him with the wisdom to explain dreams. God had special plans for Joseph, but his life was one of rejection, betrayal, and discouragement.

Except for his father, Joseph lacked the love of his family. He was abhorred for his holiness and his calling. Even in Egypt, his circumstances failed to resemble the dreams God gave him until many years had passed

Christian, we are called to come out from among the unbelieving world. A world that hated Joseph. A world that hated Jesus, and a world that hates us.

Our families and acquaintances may label us as fanatics and holy rollers. As we draw closer to Christ, even other Christians will shun us.

Christians who speak the gospel truth are isolated because many just want a feel-good message.

Friend, you may empathize with Joseph, sharing in the loneliness that surrounds those who are unashamed of the gospel. We were told to come out from among them and be separate, but we never thought we would be isolated. God has placed you where He wants you for this time. Not everyone will accept you, but God has called you for a special purpose, just like Joseph. Try not to let them get to you. That is what Satan wants. God calls out God pleasers, not people pleasers. Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Daniel were singled out, as many Christian servants are today. Enjoy those who celebrate you, ignoring those who tolerate you.

Lord Jesus, help us deal with the loneliness and ridicule we often face as Christians. Wrap us in Your love and keep us from feeling the need to be accepted by everyone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 37.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Avoiding people is not always possible. We can choose to let the words and actions of others affect us, but we can also choose to ignore it.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.