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Turning Adversity and Heartache Into Miraculous Living

Turning Adversity and Heartache Into Miraculous Living

The Other Joseph

Joseph, the son of Jacob, was only seventeen when his world came crashing down.

His own brothers threw him into a well and left him for dead. Then they had a change of heart when they happened to see a caravan of merchants headed toward Egypt. They decided that instead of leaving him for dead, they would retrieve him from the well and sell him into slavery. In a matter of minutes, Joseph went from being the most cherished son of his father to becoming a slave transported to a foreign country. Everyone he loved was ripped from him in an instant. He lost all of his privileges and rights; he lost his beloved family, his friends, and all of his hopes and dreams were stolen. He found himself in the middle of hardship and suffering. The only future he could see was that of being a slave.

Later, after becoming a trusted servant and manager of his owner’s estate, he was thrown into prison for refusing temptation and instead choosing to honor his owner and honor his God. Yet, despite his terrible circumstances, he became the most revered and highest-ranking individual in Pharaoh’s empire. His actions saved two nations from starvation. How could this happen to someone whose whole life had been stolen and whose future had been trashed? The answer can be found in his intimate and unique relationship with God.

Now consider the “other” Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. He and Mary were betrothed. They planned a future together and, in a moment, their plans changed. Suddenly the future the “other” Joseph saw looked totally different.

This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. — Matthew 1:18

The “other” Joseph knew something about hardship and suffering. He found himself in an impossible and unimaginable situation. His betrothed was having a baby. He actually contemplated a divorce and then God intervened.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit’. — Matthew 1:20

The Joseph of the New Testament heard from God and then he chose to follow Him in an intimate relationship with God. He and Mary were called to parent God’s Son, the Messiah. Together they raised Jesus. They parented Him as a baby, a toddler, and then a teenager. They parented the Savior of the world.

Both Josephs, the son of Jacob and the earthly father of Jesus, were chosen by God to endure hardships and suffer difficult things to impact the lives of others. They recognized the sovereignty of God and trusted their futures to Him.

  • When you believe in your heart that God is truly sovereign and that He loves you more than you love yourself, you will experience a supernatural peace and joy even amid extreme adversity, hardship, and suffering.

God wants to give us a spiritual joy that is not based on circumstances. Not only does He want to give us this joy — He wants to give it to us abundantly. He wants to fill our hearts with this joy to the point of overflowing — spilling out of our hearts and affecting those who surround us and those who enter our path for even a moment. This is the kind of joy Jesus had, and He even referred to it as “My joy.” In John 15, Jesus told the disciples and us some things that He promised would put His joy in us. He said,

These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. — John 15:11 NASB

Jeremiah wrote,

Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,

Let not the mighty man glory in his might,

Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;

But let him who glories glory in this,

That he understands and [intimately] knows Me,

That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.

For in these I delight,’ says the Lord. — Jeremiah 9:23–24 NKJV

God said that the great joy and purpose of our life — our glory — should flow out of our intimacy with Him. The word translated as “knows” in this passage is the Hebrew word for “intimately knowing.”

The Joseph of the Old Testament and the “other” Joseph understood having an intimate relationship with God. He called and they followed because they trusted Him and knew Him.

If God says that intimacy with Him is to be our glory and Jesus equates eternal life with intimately knowing Him and the Father, then of course They want intimacy with us. Knowing that Jesus defined eternal life as intimately knowing Him and the Father, take a fresh look at John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

When you believe in Christ to the point of hearing and doing what He says, you will have eternal life — intimacy with the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He sent.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Steven K. Scott, author of The Joseph Principles.

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Your Turn

As Mary and Joseph anticipated the birth of Jesus they encountered difficulties, but they had faith. Next time you’re really stressed, weary, or burdened, you have a choice: obey His words in Matthew 11:28–30 or don’t obey them. If you obey them, you’re taking steps of faith, loving Him and the Father using Their love language, and you will receive His miraculous promises. Learn from the faith of Jacob’s Joseph, the “other” Joseph, and Mary. ~ Devotionals Daily