Tokens of Success in the Valley
Text: Genesis 39:1-6
Many times when God’s Children are placed in adverse circumstances, wherein they are in a servant’s position, they cannot see the key to success in their bonds.
Their first response is in a form of complaint of why God allowed this to happen. The complaint however has its origin in the desires of the flesh (the old man). The old man hates any kind of resistance to his own will to serve self. When any test or trial presents itself, the flesh retaliates by complaining and finding fault with God.
But the truth of the matter is that we are God’s Children. Therefore, He is guiding our life according to His Plan and Purpose; first for His Honor and Glory, and then secondly for our good (Proverbs 19:21; Romans 8:28).
However, our flesh never agrees with God; for God’s ways are not our ways. God’s ordained way for us to be changed and conformed to His image is through tests, trials, and tribulations. (See Romans 5:3-5; Deuteronomy 8:1-6; and James 1:2-4.)
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” (James 1:2)
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:3)
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” (James 1:4)
A prime example of this truth is found in the life and troubles of Joseph (Genesis 37 – 45). The text for this devotion finds Joseph sold into slavery. He finds himself in the house of Potiphar, an Egyptian, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard in Egypt.
Joseph is not lost – he is in the very center of God’s Will. It looks very bad for Joseph, being innocent of any crime, and yet being in bonds, a servant to a foreign master, Potiphar.
But God has Three Tokens for Joseph to know that God’s Will is being carried out, no matter Joseph’s adverse circumstances for the present time.
Note the First Token – “the LORD was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2a). What exactly does this mean, “the LORD was with Joseph”? It means that God had control over Joseph’s whereabouts. That is, Joseph was exactly where God had placed Joseph to carry out His Will.
Reader, if you are in an adverse circumstance today, and you are questioning God – don’t. Why not? Because God is completely Sovereign. He is totally in charge of His Children’s lives.
“Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;” (Job 14:5)
“But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.” (Job 23:13)
“For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.” (Job 23:14)
God has a certain and specific and designed path for each of His Children to follow. God is not punishing you; but changing you, and conforming you to carry out His Will (not yours). Remember, we are not our own; we belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The reason for our entire existence is for God’s Glory, to be His servant, His witness of His Love, Grace Mercy, Power, and Holiness. It is in the valley of life, in the tests and trials of life, that God has designed and placed you, to show His Power and His Glory to you and to others.
The Second Token – God also blessed Joseph in his valley of bondage. God proved He was with Joseph by blessing him, “and he (Joseph) was a prosperous man” (Genesis 39:2b). God blessed Joseph physically in his activities, and by how his master viewed him and trusted him.
No matter what circumstances God has you in at this very moment, He is with you (Hebrews 13:5); and God is blessing you in the very midst of this trial. When you are in the center of God’s Will, God will bless you; He will give you tokens of His Presence in your life, and your present master will see God’s hand upon you.
Be still, Child of God. Get your eyes off where you are and the circumstances; and get your eyes on what God is doing for you and through you where you are. Be content, as the Apostle Paul said:
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” (Philippians 4:12)
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)
Know that God has a Plan and Purpose for what is happening to you at this very hour. Take note of what God is doing in your life. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the Lord with me? Do I feel His Presence in me?
- Is God blessing me (prospering me) in my present adverse circumstances? Is God blessing my daily activities, even in the midst of the valley?
- How do others view me?
This brings us to the Third Token of God to Joseph – how his master viewed him:
“And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” (Genesis 39:3)
When God’s hand of blessing is upon you – you will prosper, and others will see God working in you and blessing your hand. The proof of what the master (Potiphar) saw in Joseph is in Genesis 39:4. First, Potiphar trusted Joseph: “And Joseph found grace (or favor) in his sight…” Second, Potiphar made Joseph his head servant: “…and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.”
Yes, Joseph was a slave, but he was not just any slave – he was the number one slave in Potiphar’s house. God had raised Joseph up to be a witness of God’s Grace, Power and Mercy – worked out in the life of a slave.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” (1 Corinthians 1:26)
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (1 Corinthians 1:27)
“And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:” (1 Corinthians 1:28)
“That no flesh should glory in his presence.” (1 Corinthians 1:29)
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
“That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:31)
Joseph was loved above all his brethren by his father Jacob (Genesis 37). To prove his love for Joseph, Jacob had given him a coat of many colors.
You, Child of God, you are loved by the Father. He has given you a robe of righteousness, by which all can see His Love for you above all others.
But with His Love comes change from self-glory to God’s glory. With His Love comes responsibility:
“But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12:48)
For God to receive His Glory in you, He uses tests, trials, etc. to allow His Light to shine in you as you walk in the midst of adversity, as Joseph did.
But note this: God always prepares us to endure the journey. He changes us, and gives us a servant’s heart, full of the Power of Christ, to perform in the valley.
Just remember, God has a Plan. So take it day by day; walking by faith, leaning upon Him and not upon yourself:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
He does not always reveal the end of His Plan. But He does give tokens to you in the valley of His Presence with you; by blessing you with power to perform daily, by letting you find grace with those over you, and then by rewarding you.
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