A Devotional by Pastor Cesar Castellanos
Today’s Bible Verse
…and rescued him from his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.Acts 7:10
God’s Dream Prevails
After many years, Jacob’s desire had been met because he could have a child with the woman he loved. He had loved her so much that he committed to work seven more years in order to marry her. Now Jacob turned his love towards this child. Later, there was wonderful news that Benjamin, Joseph’s little brother, had been born. However, Benjamin’s birth was accompanied by the sad news that Rachel, his mother, had died in childbirth.
As Joseph was growing up his brothers increasingly came to hate him because Jacob favored him above the rest. He even made Joseph a tunic of many colors. The brothers were constantly in conflict with him (Genesis 37:4-5). Joseph had a dream that made his brothers hate him even more (Genesis 37:5). He had yet another dream and told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me” (Genesis 37:9).
Joseph’s brothers told their father about Joseph’s absurd dream. Jacob scolded Joseph because, humanly speaking, it was impossible to fulfill such dreams. Joseph’s brothers didn’t understand how God was at work though. They thought that Joseph’s dreams were the result of his youthful pride. Also, because of his arrogance in being Jacob’s favorite, Joseph would not listen to anyone. Joseph never imagined that by sharing his dreams he would have to face the opposition of his own brothers.
Joseph’s brothers sought an opportunity to attack him and eventually threw him into an empty pit, alone and apprehensive. Then, his brothers sold him into slavery. Having done this, the brothers probably made fun of him and said among themselves, “He who was going to reign over us is just a simple slave, and who is going to bow before him now?
We must understand that the enemy’s purpose, in our adversity, is to discourage us so that we lose all hope and forget about our dreams. The pit where Joseph was thrown can represent darkness, depression, and the loneliness that we have to go through sometimes. Nevertheless, Joseph came out of the pit. However, he did not come out of it to be a free man but to be a slave of the Ishmaelites.
Ever since he was a young man, Joseph understood that one of the ways God communicates with His children is by revealing the future to them. It was through the visions and dreams that he was able to resist all the things that rose up against him. He knew that what God reveals through faith will come to pass. As his physical condition was tested every day, his spirit rested in the dreams given to him by God. He didn’t fall into despair, nor did he allow doubt to set in. Rather, he kept himself firm in the faith, knowing that some day everything that God has promised will be fulfilled.
As a result of having resisted various trials, Joseph was filled with spiritual power and his relationship with God became closer day by day. Therefore, it was relatively easy for him to interpret dreams. Because of his success in the face of testing times, his character was built up and made strong within him. After Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, Pharaoh saw that the spirit on Joseph gave him greater ability than anyone else in the whole of the palace. So Pharaoh appointed him as the lord over all the land of Egypt.
Something to Think About
The name “Carnegie,” is a synonym of success. The Dale Carnegie Effective Speech Institute and Public Relations, trains people all over the world. His book How to Win Friends and Influence People, has sold more than 15 million copies, and has continued to sell 60 years after the first edition. But the first years of his career were plagued with failures. He grew up living in poverty. When he decided to attend a college for instructors in Warrensburg, Missouri, he could only do it by living at home and riding a horse to college every day. Being interested in spoken communication since he was an adolescent, he made up his mind that he would be known in college through the speech-making contests. He never won any of those contests, yet he did learn through every attempt and failure. In spite of his hard work in the university, he could not graduate because he did not pass a required course in Latin. He moved from Marysville, Missouri, to New York City where he worked in acting and sales; but still he was a failure. Then something came along that was a golden opportunity for him. He applied to work at the YMCA as an instructor in public speaking. Since he lacked experience, the YMCA did not offer him the usual salary of two dollars. They did end up hiring him but with certain conditions, which involved his effectiveness as an instructor and his ability to keep attracting students to his classes. If he failed to meet their criteria, he would be fired. Although he had previously failed in the speech-making contests, as a salesman and as an actor he was, nevertheless, successful at the YMCA. His previous failures had taught him many lessons. Soon he was developing his own courses and writing pamphlets that would later be published as books.
Both Kemp and Claflin wrote about him. “Carnegie climbed into fame as one of the best instructors of public speaking and one of the best-selling authors of all time. Two key aspects allowed him to convert failure into success. He teaches readers and students to never give up during failure and the disposition to learn while facing failure.”
Sovereign Lord, thank You for fighting to preserve me from harm and for protecting my life. Thank You for giving me Your dream because, when I understand it, I can give myself fully to do Your will. Please give me strength in my spirit and allow me to reach the goal triumphantly. I love You, Jesus, Amen.
By my faith and perseverance, God’s dream will be fulfilled in my life.
This Week’s Bible Reading
- Old Testament: Isaiah 54-55; Proverbs 28:15-28
- New Testament: Luke 24:1-12; Hebrews 11:32-40