Staying Positive When Life Turns Against You

Imagine being betrayed by your family, shipped off against your will to a foreign country, forced into a dead-end job, then falsely accused and thrown into prison.

That's what happened to Joseph, a man whose story is detailed in the Bible.

Somehow, through all his trials, Joseph remained positive, productive, and purposeful. In fact, the Bible tells how he overcame his sad circumstances and ended up becoming one of the most powerful and revered men in the world.

How did he do it?

1. He retained his commitment to God. Never once do we find Joseph wavering, questioning God, or quitting. He may have faced some of the worst imaginable circumstances (slavery, betrayal, injustice), but he never gave up his faith.

2. He refused to use his circumstances as excuses to sin.
When Joseph was tempted by the wife of his slavemaster to commit adultery, he responded firmly: "How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"

3. He remained faithful for the long haul. Joseph's struggles weren't over in days or weeks; they haunted him for years. He wasn't rewarded for his faithfulness until more than a decade of injustice had occurred. But he didn't give up. Wherever he went, he worked hard, shared his faith, and lived his life for God.

4. He restored his broken relationships. All of Joseph's woes could be traced to his selfish brothers, who sold him into slavery. Yet, Joseph reached out with compassion, even to these wicked family members, and even after they had caused him unimaginable pain. He focused on fulfilling God's purpose, not taking revenge.

All of us face difficult times. Rather than letting bitterness and revenge steal joy and meaning from our lives, let's follow the example of Joseph!

You can read the story of Joesph for yourself in Genesis 37-50.


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