This post orginally appeared on Casting Crowns' Facebook page.
Life can be tough, and it can seem like we are facing an uphill climb all day every day. It can feel like we are going through the motions, and we are just trying to make it to the next weekend, day off, or vacation. We are going through life, and we are just surviving it. I don’t think we were meant to live this way. God wants to live in us and work through us every day, he wants to give us life. There is an abundance of life in Christ, one that brings “joy, peace, patience and kindness.” We weren’t made to survive - we were made to thrive. Like Joseph, he thrived even in the tough times and even in the mess.
In Genesis 7, we learn about Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. In jealousy, his brothers sell him in to slavery. He ends up in Egypt as a slave to Potiphar. Even in his situation, he trusts God and God blesses him. He moves up in the ranks in Potiphar's house.
“When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant,” Genesis 39:3.
Did you get that? Potiphar put him in charge of his household. And God blessed Potiphar's entire household because of Joseph. Potiphar's wife, seeing the success of Joseph, makes a play for him. After he rejects her, she accuses him before Potiphar and Joseph is sent to jail.
“But while Joseph was there, the Lord was with him,” Genesis 39:21.
But God was still with Joseph even in prison. The prison guard put Joseph in charge of all of the prisoners. Everywhere Joseph ended up, God blessed him and he ended up in charge.
While in prison, Joseph interpreted dreams for some of Pharoah’s employees. Years later, when Pharaoh was having dreams he couldn't understand, Joseph was called to interpret them.
Once again, seeing that Joseph was a man of God, Pharaoh puts him in control of all of Egypt. Egypt goes through a famine, and they prosper because of Joseph. Not only that, but he is even reunited with his family when his brothers are forced to come to Egypt to buy grain.
Joseph was confident in the God who made promises to him, and when tough times came, he rested in God. He at times may have been surviving, but it is clear that he thrived. Joseph could have treated his brothers with revenge, hatred, and anger. He could have been bitter, resentful, and poured out wrath on them; instead, he forgave them because he trusted that he was where he was because God had a plan. Had they not sold him into slavery, he would not have ended up in charge and his family would not have been blessed during the famine. God orchestrated everything.
Joseph thrived because he was rooted in Christ, and he trusted God's plan for his life. Even in the tough times, even when it would have been easier to give up or throw in the towel, Joseph lived a life that sought God, and pointed others to God. He was rooted in what God promised him, and he never quit helping others.
I don’t know where you are as you are reading this. But I do know that God is calling you to himself. God is constantly calling you to know him and to make him known. Start digging into God’s word and let him show himself to you. Don’t just survive life - Thrive in it.
- Mark Hall, Casting Crowns