We can learn to let peace rule inwardly when trouble breaks loose outwardly. That is what Joseph did when he was betrayed by everyone he trusted. If anyone had the right to shout "victim," Joseph did. But in spite of all the cruelty and injustice he endured, Joseph never allowed it to affect his heart.
At the tender age of seventeen, Joseph had a dream that he believed was God-given even though he didn't fully understand it. When he shared the dream with his brothers, they hated him so much that they wanted to kill him. Then Judah, Joseph's brother, decided there was no advantage in killing him when they could sell him as a slave. After being sold, Joseph ended up in Egypt with Potiphar as his new master.
Joseph's peaceful spirit motivated Potiphar to put Joseph in charge of all his business and personal affairs. As a result "things ran smoothly and flourished." Until Mrs. Potiphar decided an affair with Joseph would solve her boredom. But it didn't settle well with her when Joseph rejected her so she claimed that he attacked her — a claim that sent Joseph to prison. Even in prison, everything under Joseph's peaceful guardianship prospered.
Finally the day came when Joseph stood before Pharaoh as the wisest man on earth. Joseph didn't go from prison to prime minister overnight — it took a lifetime of guarding his heart and refusing to return evil for evil. The rewards were well worth the wait! The dream God gave Joseph might have been aborted if he hadn't chosen to let peace rule in his heart.
Too many people choose instant gratification rather than waiting for God's manifestation.
By choosing to yield to the flesh we may abort God's plan for our lives. Had Joseph yielded to unforgiveness and strife, his heart might not have been quiet and peaceful enough to hear the interpretation of Pharaoh's dream. We must be quiet and peaceful inside to hear from God.
Eventually Joseph's brothers traveled to Egypt to buy grain during a famine. Instead of repaying them for the evil they had done, he spoke these words from a peaceful spirit: "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life" (Genesis 45:4-5).
Joseph didn't have a special ability that protected him from hurt. He had feelings and emotions just like we do. He had to deny his flesh the privilege of repaying those who offended him. He was heartbroken each day he was separated from his father, but he chose to dwell on the plan of God and not his aching heart.
Second Chronicles 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them" (TLB). The word "perfect" in this verse doesn't refer to performance. It refers not only to one whose heart is committed; but surprisingly to one whose heart is peaceful and quiet.
Choose to live with a peaceful, quiet heart — the one for whom the Lord is searching. As we let peace guard our hearts and rule like an umpire in every situation, we will enjoy undisturbed companionship with God. And we will give Him the opportunity to do what He desires most — show Himself strong on our behalf.
- Excerpt from the
Help! It's Dangerous Out Here
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