It is possible to achieve good results in almost anything you want to achieve, especially if your goals line up with the plans and dreams God has put in your heart. He will never put before you something you cannot achieve, with His help.
That is not to say it will be easy. You know the old saying: No pain – no gain. It holds true in almost any endeavour of life. So the question is not really “how big is your goal”. The question really is: “how much are you willing to pay to achieve the results you want”? And it doesn’t necessarily involve money. You may need to pay in time and effort, commitment and perseverance. You may need to pay for training or mentoring and equipment, and do without certain things, in order to pay for what you need.
Today we’re going to look at the life of Joseph. He achieved wonderful results – eventually – but he paid a great price to win those rewards. The greatest lesson we learn from Joseph’s life is that God is faithful to fulfil His promises.
Do you have a word from the Lord? – a promise, or a dream? If so, you can trust Him that as you co-operate with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction, you WILL see those things come to pass.
Joseph had a dream…in fact two dreams, that were given to Him by God. He didn’t really understand what those dreams meant, but he had great confidence in the God who gave him those dreams. He was a young man at the time, and unfortunately, he shared his dreams with his father and brothers.
His brothers were already jealous of Joseph, because their father loved Joseph more than them, but now they hated Joseph because of his dream, which indicated that one day they would bow down to him.
You can read the story, starting in Genesis 37, how his brothers sold Joseph into slavery and he was taken into the house of Potiphar, who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.
Genesis 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.
Now, this is just the first part of Joseph’s trials and testing, but we begin to see that Joseph was a man who was trustworthy, a man of good character, who took responsibility for all that was entrusted to him. Not only that, but he didn’t waste time looking back at the terrible way his brothers had treated him, or bemoaning the fact that he had been sold into slavery. He simply laid hold of his new life and made the most of it, trusting God for the best outcome.
This is a good beginning for anyone who hopes to achieve great results in life.
However, the next thing that happened to Joseph was anything but a good outcome. Potiphar’s wife tried time and time again to seduce him, but Joseph refused, saying: “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” So she lied to the servants that Joseph had tried to rape her, and he was thrown into prison.
Genesis 39: 20 But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and by Potiphar’s wife, rejected by Potiphar, who believed his wife rather than Joseph, who had served him faithfully, yet he didn’t blame or question God, or the people who had hurt him. He just carried on serving faithfully and his trustworthiness was rewarded, even in prison.
I’m sure you know the story, so I won’t try to tell it all here, but it certainly makes good reading in the Bible and teaches us many lessons about reaching out goals.
In the end, of course, Joseph was exalted to where he was second only to Pharoah. God used him to save multitudes of people during a great famine, and true to the dreams of his youth, Joseph’s family did bow down to him.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that there are certain qualities needed in the life of someone who wants to achieve great results. If we were to list some of these, I would say:
Faithfulness, trustworthiness, honesty, hard-working, perseverance, trust in God, accountability, self-discipline, self-denial, willingness to learn….
The truth is…success does not come cheaply. The results you want are attainable, but the road is not an easy one.
Speaking of spiritual fulfilment, in answering the call of God on your life, there are many rewards to be won, but they are not like earthly rewards given for acts of service or top performance. The best rewards are given for faith and obedience. That means doing what God asks you to do, when perhaps you don’t feel like it, or when you’re not sure whether you can do it, but you obey Him anyway.
The Holy Spirit is our personal trainer. If you allow Him, He’ll teach you and lead you, but if we keep pulling back from His guidance and correction, He’ll step back and let us do it our own way. Of course, if we choose to live our own way, we’ll never win God’s rewards.
What price are you prepared to pay to fulfil the call of God? The best answer is: Whatever it takes.
God bless you in your pursuit of Him. You will not be disappointed.