“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
– Genesis 39:7-9,11,12
Yesterday, we looked at the beginning of the story of Joseph — about how he was a young and naive dreamer who was sold into slavery by his brothers in their jealousy. After being sold, Joseph’s saga progressed, and he ended up in the household of a wealthy Egyptian named Potiphar. Because he was such a hard-working and honest slave, he was elevated to the head of his master’s household and was put in charge of everything he had. He was at the top of the heap, like a CEO of the estate, and he may have even wondered if this was the destination the Lord had revealed to him in his dream years earlier: a position of power and responsibility.
Things were going along swimmingly for Joseph until Potiphar went away on a trip and left his wife at home. Mrs. Potiphar had the hots for him and she attempted to seduce the young twenty-something multiple times. One day she got really aggressive and, in an effort to resist her advances and get away, Joseph ran, but he caught his robe on the way out, it tore off of him, and he left naked (which equated to total shame in that society). You see, Joseph was willing to face the humiliation of nakedness in an effort to do the right thing in the eyes of God and of his master. Unfortunately, upset by his rejection, Potiphar’s wife decided to get even with him by making up a story and telling her husband she was raped. What a low blow to a man who was trying to do everything right. While most Biblical heroes were incredibly flawed, Joseph was making every effort to live uprightly in the eyes of God, and he still ended up in trouble — this time, he went to prison!
Friend, even if you are utterly moral, utterly pure, utterly sound, and good from beginning to end, you may still fall victim to unfortunate circumstances. As hard as you try to be perfect and as firmly as you believe that your faithfulness will spare you hardship, it just isn’t true. It’s not easy to accept, but following the call of Jesus may require that you endure pain, persecution, and in a rare circumstance, even imprisonment. Far from being a sign of His judgement, these trials are actually living proof of His presence, and when they are redeemed, they will become your crown and glory! Though it is the least pleasant, suffering is the part of your journey that prepares you to take on and uphold the greater responsibilities the Lord has for you. Discomfort is your friend; believe that today and watch as your perspective begins to shift!
Jesus, I want to do the right thing before you, even if I suffer for it. I know that you will redeem every difficulty and turn it around for my good.
Have you ever been punished for doing what was right in God’s eyes? How did He redeem your situation?