Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
Genesis 45:4-8 NLT
How many of you feel like you are going through a tough time, maybe even the most difficult period in your life? Do you perhaps have a dream, and once you shared that dream publicly, it was discounted and questioned–let me be blunt, attacked by the enemy? Joseph went through a tough decade or so, all so he could give birth the dream that God gave him. Joseph was sold into slavery, thrown into prison, all to be elevated to second in command to Pharaoh alone. But from that nearly 13+ year span from the time he had the dream until it actually manifested, he was going through some things. I can attest to that experience.
Joseph was ‘hated on’ by his brothers for being the favorite son of their father. His dad made him a coat of many colors (Gen 37) to show how much he loved him. Joseph was a dreamer, and had two dreams that he shared with his brothers; these dreams would dictate his destiny and kindle a fire of hatred within his brothers. Their hatred grew so strong that they plotted to kill him. Fortunately one brother came up with an alternate idea to put him in a pit instead so that he could later rescue Joseph; in his absence the other brothers decided to sell him into slavery. Unknown to them, their act of jealousy and hatred towards Joseph propelled him into his appointed place.
In Genesis 39 Joseph is chief servant to Potiphar (elevation in the midst of slavery), and again, the enemy tried to abort his destiny through Potiphar’s wife. She wanted Joseph so bad that she lied when he refused to sleep with her. So this time, Joseph is put into the king’s prison. Important to note is that throughout all of this, God’s favor was on Joseph. He went from imminent death at his brothers’ hands to slavery (although some would argue this is any better). He went from being a slave to being the chief slave/servant in charge of all the affairs in Potiphar’s household. Even in prison, he was the head prisoner, in charge of all the affairs of the prison. It is also notable to recognize that the people Joseph worked for were blessed because of that same favor.
I am sure during that time period, God purified Joseph from any bitterness, anger, hatred, and resentments he may have had towards his brothers. Because Joseph honored the Lord, God promoted him in the midst of his sufferings, right where he was. Joseph chose to grow where he was planted and God blessed everything he set his hands to. And when his opportunity came to go before the king, God gave Joseph the tools he needed to manifest his own childhood dream as he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream. When its your time and season, God will give you everything you need–or rather remind you of what He has already put within you. The trials you experience are for your testing; if you have been taught and learned something all semester, the only way for you to prove what you know is through passing the test!
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV