Joseph could see it. I don’t know at what point it became clear to him. Maybe he knew it all along. But he definitely saw it, and maybe that’s what helped him persevere beyond his own ability. Something had to help him for goodness sake! There is no other reasonable explanation for his perspective and endurance.
Whereas most people would have given in to despair and bitterness, becoming overwhelmed and given up, Joseph kept the faith for the 13 years while enslaved in Egypt (Genesis 41:46-48), the 7 years in service to Pharoah while the land was abundant, and then the 2 years of famine until he was reunited with his family (Genesis 45:4-11).
He had eyes to see beyond his present circumstances, which were far from his heart’s desire, to the faithfulness of His God and how He could redeem his life and time.
Isn’t that what happens? We feel as if our life and times are wasting away, while we are helpless to change our present circumstances? We are chasing a dream like Joseph……..whether it is a calling, or an opportunity, or a relationship, or maybe just the end of one season and the beginning of the next! It seems so far out of reach. So unlikely.
To think of life or circumstances changing cannot be conceived. At times, we are unable to conjure up how on earth rescue and redemption could come. Just like Joseph……the moment before Pharoah called him up out of his prison, he was clueless at how life could possibly change, how problems could be resolved.
But life did change! In an instant for Joseph! And life can change for us as well, but we have to have eyes to see and faith to wait like Joseph!
How do we do that? Joseph teaches us about seeing past what is in front of us and actually looking at life differently. He did not focus on what was wrong as much as he focused on who was in charge of the “temporary ” circumstances. This perspective is seen as he explained to his brothers in Genesis 45:5-7 that they were not the reason he was in Egypt. He was there because God sent him ahead of them. He goes on to say in the last chapter of Genesis that what man intended for evil, God used for good, for accomplishing what was intended, the saving of many lives.
So we see Joseph was looking for God, and His purpose, in his circumstances more than he was looking to achieve his own perceived purpose of rescue and relief.
This reminds me of two verses. Romans 8:28, ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Joseph had the faith to wait upon the Lord, for the unfolding of His plan that had to be sovereign over the present problems. The circumstances may be out of control, but His God was always in complete control, and could corral the worst of times into the glorious submission of His perfect will!
This translated into hope! Oh how purposeful hope is to our endurance. Where there is hope, we are able to make it one more minute, one more hour, one more day, one more year.
The second verse is found in Isaiah 64: 4-5, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways .” Joseph knew there would be good to come from waiting upon the Lord! He had seen it in the life of Abraham, and of Isaac, and his own father Jacob. God had covenanted with them to be their God. That promise was meant for him too and was well worth remembering.
Faith that remembers well, is then able to wait well.
What are you waiting for? What is beyond your vision for being realized? Remember our hope does not rest upon the likelihood of our circumstances being resolved or our future plans being nailed down. Eyes to see, and faith to wait…..these are key to persevering until our time is redeemed and His purpose achieved for us, just as it was for Joseph.