For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
We are saved because of God’s dream. As His prized creations, our lives should line up with God’s will and purpose. Do not give others authority over your dreams.
How do you begin living such a life?
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:20-21)
God created you for a good purpose. Do not let past experiences deter you; allow God to define who you are. Joseph never let his past dictate the future. He remained focused and trusted God’s plan for his life.
It is all about your attitude towards your dreams. You can be careless or develop tunnel vision and miss the greater things of God. Choose to have a great attitude like Joseph. We must realize that God’s dream is bigger than our own, for God’s dreams always include others. It is important to ask, “What can I do for others?” daily.
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. (Genesis 45:3-7)
According to Genesis 45:7, Joseph did not let his brothers’ cruelty affect his walk with God or his trust that God would bring about the great dream he had given him. God always uses imperfect situations to perfect His work. Dreams will prepare you, so surrender to God’s sovereignty.
Remember, your dream is not all about you; it is for God’s greater purpose as well. Joseph’s dream was about saving his family which, in the long run, kept God’s promise to Jacob. He has a greater purpose for you as well. Be it for your family, your church or society at large, there is always a bigger picture than we think. Everything will unfold as we live according to God’s guidance.
He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand—but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. (Genesis 40:21-23)
Be prepared to be betrayed. The chief cupbearer completely forgot Joseph and left him behind. People have a bad habit of forgetting the favors of others when they achieve success. The Israelites forgot what God did for them not long after He rescued them from oppression in Egypt.
What is your attitude towards others?
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.’” (Genesis 45:8-9)
Joseph had a great attitude. He forgave his brothers because he knew that whatever happened to him was a part of God’s plan.
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:15-21)
The lesson we can learn is to always forgive people so that people don’t fear us. We have to keep forgiving others, bind up the wounds and refuse to take advantage of our superior position.