walk in the word
Category: Spiritual Life
Faithfulness starts small. Do you remember when Joseph was sold into slavery by his older brothers (talk about dysfunctional families!)? He was taken down to Egypt and sold to a man named Potiphar (Genesis 39:1). His coat of many colors had been stripped away, and the dream that God had given him of being a great ruler seemed very distant.
Nevertheless, the Bible says that “The Lord was with Joseph” (verses 2, 21). That is the key ingredient in Joseph’s life. Many awful things were going to happen to him—things that would make you think his dreams would never come true. But the most significant thing about Joseph was not his hard work or his education or his looks or his talent or his personality. It was the fact that God was with him. God had sovereignly placed His hand upon Joseph’s life.
Now if you had been standing there watching as Joseph was sold into slavery, you would have said, “No way is God’s hand on this guy.” We need to accept the fact that God’s hand is on us, even when it does not appear that way. God allows hard things into our lives to build us up. We should not get discouraged, thinking that the dream He has given to us is never going to happen.
Now Joseph could have been really ticked. He could have been sour and bitter and sullen or filled with self-pity. He could have called a “pity party” for at least six months or a year, being so far from his family and everything. But not Joseph. He got to work right away because he was a faithful man, and he knew that God rewarded faithfulness.
Joseph probably started off with some pretty menial tasks. If you brought home some new slaves from the market, what kind of jobs would you give them to do? All the stuff you don’t like doing, right? Like washing dishes, taking out garbage, cleaning toilets, sweeping out the garage, etc. That is no doubt where Joseph started—the ugliest, most awful, most menial jobs. But Joseph did not say, “These things do not matter. They are not worthy of me. I am much better than this.” Not at all. He said, “If I have to be a slave, I am going to be the best toilet-cleaner Egypt has ever seen!” And he threw himself into the opportunities that God gave him.
As Joseph was feeding pigs or folding the laundry or doing whatever, God was not the only one watching. The text says, “His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all he did to succeed in his hands” (verse 3). Potiphar was also watching Joseph and saying “This guy looks plain and ordinary, but every single thing he touches prospers! If I give him a job to do, it happens. If I give him an investment to make, it multiplies. Regular guy. Incredible results.”
This shows that faithfulness will be observed and rewarded. One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Psalm 75:5-7, which says, “Do not lift up your horn on high; do not speak with a stiff neck. For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.” Is it possible to be successful? Yes. Where does success come from? It comes from God. Whenever people prosper in this world, God is the One who prospers them.
Joseph eventually became the head over Potiphar’s entire household. “So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had” (verse 4). Potiphar, as the head of security for Pharaoh’s palace, was no doubt a wealthy man. He may have had fifty, seventy-five, or even a hundred servants. Overseeing that household would have been like running a business. Joseph would have had all kinds of people reporting to him. He wasn’t just the chief dishwasher; he was in charge of everything that the man owned. His faithfulness had been observed and rewarded.
Are you a faithful person? Scripture says, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Are you the kind of person that people can count on? Are you the kind of person who is there whether things are going well or not? Are you the kind of person who can be counted on to be in your place, serving Christ, always doing your part? Or are you a quit-when-the-chips-are-down person? If so, it is not going to work out very well for you in the kingdom because God observes and rewards faithfulness.
Be faithful in the small things today. It will lead to greater responsibilities and privileges tomorrow.
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