By Jesse Bradley
It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. “There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God ?” As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. – Genesis 39:7-10
A crisis doesn’t confine God; in fact, it can set the stage for His grace to shine. The abundant grace of God can help us respond in a godly way in any situation. No, you aren’t experiencing déjà vu as you read this chapter: I previously covered an overview of Joseph’s life in this book. Let’s now focus on some specifics from his journey. The life of Joseph contains so many reminders that God’s grace is very practical in our relationships and in the moments when we are at a crossroad in life. Have you faced any situations where you knew that your decision would have massive implications for the rest of your life?
Joseph lived in Egypt and worked for Potiphar when Potiphar’s wife demanded that he sleep with her. Joseph knew it would be a sin against God, and he was able to refuse her. Because he was reflecting on how abundantly gracious God had been to him, there was a strong, grace-driven motive to choose purity. After Joseph denied her request, she had him thrown in prison. It’s one thing to say we follow God, but what really matters is what we decide to do in a crisis. Joseph risked losing his job, place to live, money, freedom, and even his life as he maintained his integrity. He didn’t choose this problem, but he stayed committed to follow God in the midst of it.
Let’s take a look at some of the principles Joseph lived by in Genesis chapter 39:
1) Stay alert because success can lull you to sleep: a crisis can be just around the corner. Things were going well in Joseph’s job, but he stayed alert and handled the new problem with courage and wisdom.
2) One inviting person and one slippery moment can threaten what is most dear to you. When someone asks you to do something, always check in with God before you say yes.
3) Be able to give a firm refusal. When you know it is right to say no to an offer, be stubborn about not entertaining the idea. Hold your ground.
4) Speak openly about your faith. Let others know that you don’t want to sin against God and you want to follow Him.
5) Call sin what it really is. Don’t try to make it sound like it’s no big deal or fine because everyone is doing it— that is just an excuse.
6) Doing the right thing is the best thing. You will have peace of mind when you act with integrity. Leave the results up to God.
7) Don’t linger when it’s time to run. With some temptations the wise thing to do is to run and leave the situation quickly.
8) God’s anointing gets stronger with good decisions. The Holy Spirit fills you more when you honor Him.
9) There might be times when God is all you have, and that’s okay, He is enough. If there is opposition to your godly decisions, God will still be there with you to sustain you.
1) How do you make good decisions in a crisis?
2) Which of the principles above is most helpful to you now?
3) Have you ever done the right thing when it wasn’t popular?
God of all wisdom, thank You for examples like Joseph. Help me to be someone who will live out my faith in difficult situations. Even if I’m outnumbered, I want to stay faithful to You. I want to be a light in dark places. I pray this all in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
Devotional forwarded to you by:
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry of the Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC