By Bro. Myles Tan
There are always 2 sides to a story, 2 sides of a coin and 2 kinds of people: those who are really offended and those who only think they were offended. Which on are you? Sometimes, even a look can offend you and it ruins your entire day.
Let us look at the life of Joseph.
Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, and he was given a colorful robe. Because of this, his brothers were jealous of him. Parents, do not play favorites. Love your children equally. (Genesis 37:3-4)
Joseph told his brothers about his dream one time, saying that their sheaves of grain bowed down to his, which was in the middle of the field. So they were angry and told him that that will never happen because he was the youngest son. But while they thought they were being offended, in reality, Joseph was probably just a boastful child. Unbeknown to them, these string of events were being used by the Lord for his good. (Genesis 37:6-8)
So Joseph’s brothers plotted on killing him but threw him in the cistern instead. They sold him as a slave to the Midianites who took him to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar. (Genesis 37:17-26)
Do you think Joseph was offended after everything that has happened o him? No.
Only God can determine your destiny. What if Joseph gave up after his brothers sold him as a slave? He did not because he knew that God is a god of second chances.
Now Joseph was highly favored by God that Potiphar entrusted everything to him. God was with him. Remember that Potiphar was not a Christian. He is an Egyptian but still, he saw that Joseph’s God was with him. When people see or meet you, do they know you are a Christian? Or do they doubt you are a Christian? Do not be offended. All you have to do is to trust God. Put your faith and trust in God because only He can determine your destiny. (Genesis 39:2-6)
Potiphar’s wife had a crush on Joseph and tried to seduce him several times but to no avail. Because she felt rejected, she lied and told Potiphar that Joseph took advantage of her. Because of this, they threw him in prison. So after Joseph was sold as a slave and rose to be Potiphar’s right hand, he finds himself in prison again. Do you think Joseph was offended? Again. ONLY GOD CAN DETERMINE YOUR DESTINY. (Genesis 39:7-20)
No man, woman, child or devil can stop your destiny. Because God has already determined it. Do you think God was surprised with the happenings in Joseph’s life? God is all powerful, all knowing, everlasting and sovereign. He is not at all surprised that this all happened because this was part of His plan.
Are you easily offended? By the things happening in your life? Because God did not answer your prayers? There’s the rub. That is where the testing takes place. Can you say that God is good when things do not seem to be good?
Even in prison, Joseph found favor in God’s eyes. He was again appointed second in command by the warden, who did not have to worry about anything because Joseph was there. He was successful in everything that he did. After some time, the king’s cupbearer and baker were sent to prison where Joseph was. And at some point, both of them had troubling dreams which Joseph was able to interpret. In the course of time, Joseph’s heart changed. Instead of sulking while in prison, he was even able to help others. His heart and his character improved. He was not offended. When you are always offended, you are only thinking of yourself. But if you are thinking about Jesus, it becomes about other people. How can you be a better person? How can you be a blessing like Joseph? How can you benefit society? That is the mindset of the godly Christian. Always on the offensive for the kingdom of God. Not offended all the time. (Genesis 39:20-23)
So Joseph was able to interpret their dreams, saying that the baker will die but the cupbearer will go back to serving the pharaoh. And the interpretations came true. And Joseph only asked that the cupbearer mention him to pharaoh when he gets back to work but alas, the cupbearer forgot. Two years passed until one day, the pharaoh had a very troubling dream. While he was telling his court about it, the cupbearer suddenly remembered Joseph so pharaoh sent for him. Of course, with God being on his side, Joseph was able to interpret pharaoh’s dream. And because of this, pharaoh made Joseph second in command again. (Genesis 41)
So from being the son of a rich man, Joseph was sold into slavery, became Potiphar’s right hand, was put in prison because of his wife, became the warden’s second in command, and now he was the second most powerful man in Egypt. Joseph made Egypt prosperous during the 7 good years of harvest. When famine came, countries beside Egypt found themselves with no food. So Jacob asked his sons to go to Egypt to buy food for them. And when they came, Joseph recognized them instantly; but they did not know it was him. At that moment he knew that his dream about the sheaves of grain came true. He helped them and in the long run, he revealed himself to them and forgave them.
Only you can stop God’s will. When you do not forgive your enemies. When you are easily offended. When you do not want to obey what God asks you to do. Are you easily offended? Look at Joseph. He forgave everything and everyone who did him wrong.
Psalms 105:16-17 says, “He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; and he sent a man before them— Joseph, sold as a slave.” Before the famine came, God already had a plan. He used Joseph to save his family. Psalms 139:16 also says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God really has a plan for all of you. Psalms 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord when he delights in His ways.” Be free from offense. Relax. Take a deep breath and remember what Jesus did for you. He forgave all of your sins. You should do the same.
1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” If you feel down, sad, or offended, God is not done with your life yet. Do not give up.
Joseph was loved by the Father; just like Jesus.
Joseph was envied and hated; just like Jesus.
Joseph was betrayed; just like Jesus.
Joseph was stripped of his clothing; just like Jesus.
Joseph was thrown into a pit; just like Jesus.
Joseph was sold into slavery; just like Jesus.
Joseph rose from the pit; just like Jesus.
Joseph became a servant; just like Jesus.
Joseph was tempted; just like Jesus.
Joseph was falsely accused; just like Jesus.
Joseph was promoted to rule; just like Jesus.
Joseph revealed himself through a revelation; just like Jesus.