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Intended for Good
God's revealed will is more important than his specific will, meaning that too often we want to know the little nuances of God's will for something that isn't that consequential, but all the while we're ignoring very broad instruction given through Scripture. God's will involves everyday dedication because God's blessings can actually distract us from God's will.  We hear of this big compelling thing called God's will, but then we look at our reality and think life is pretty mundane. God has a will for you, but life is diapers and errands. God has a will for you, but life is school and homework. God has a will for you, but life is doctor's appointments and medications. God has a will for you, but life seems to be scratching one thing off the to-do list, just to add two more. When you look at your life and when you look inward at yourself, there is the temptation for a lot of us is to not feel so sure that God has a destiny for us. When we come to the end of Joseph's story, our key verse is going to explicitly say that God has a will and a destiny for your life. But what does the fact that God has a destiny for us really mean? Does it change our faith? Does it change your week this week? Remember that Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, but he rose to prominence and power in Egypt, and then had a family reunion where everyone experiences grace and reconciliation. In Genesis chapter 50, now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became fearful that Joseph would pay them back for all the wrong they did to him. But Joseph has a different perspective because he realizes that God worked everything out for good. This perspective in Genesis 50:20 is what sustains our faith so that it won't die amid trials and suffering. The Christian knows that one day we will see how God intended it all for good and that belief helps you not just survive as a Christian, but helps you thrive in your walk with Christ. Reflection/Discussion Question: How does this perspective that Joseph had change the way you view trials and difficulties?
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God's Faithful Love
One of the most interesting things about the life of Joseph is it's not ultimately a story about Joseph. It's ultimately a story about Jesus. Think about it: Joseph was the beloved son of his father, but he was a slave in a foreign land who was unjustly persecuted, then eventually raised up so he could save the lives of many. In reflection, Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of his Father who became subject to human constraints in a foreign land and was unjustly executed on a cross so he could save whosoever may come. But then he was raised from the dead so you could live out your destiny with a confident expectation of what’s to come because you know what Christ accomplished on the cross.   When studying God's will for our lives, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a look at 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which says, “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”. God wants everyone to be saved. God's desire is for you to know him, to humble yourself, to place your unwavering faith in him, and to be baptized. Baptism represents you dying to self and being raised to new life in Christ so that you can then go do the work that he has for you. The reality is one thing does lead to another, so do your duty even though destined doesn't feel like it. If you do that then one day you will hear, hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Reflection/Discussion Question: What is your biggest takeaway from studying God's will for your life through the story of Joseph?
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Your Pain is Your Platform
By the time we reach Genesis 50:20, life appears to be going great for Joseph. He's sitting on a throne, he's rich, he's been reconciled to his family, and he's got his own wife and kids. He's been successful, and on the surface, he's got it all. However, to get there, his brothers had to come back for this all to happen because our pain never stays in the past. A lot of us want to use our talents for God's kingdom, and a lot of us want to use our passions for God's kingdom. Those are healthy desires that God puts on our heart, and we should pray for those things to happen. The problem is, when you read Scripture, there's another thing that God seems to like to use a whole lot more. Think of people in Scripture that we look up to. Ruth’s story began by becoming a widow and saying to her mother-in-law that she will follow wherever Naomi went. Paul was beaten, abandoned, criticized, and ridiculed when sharing the gospel. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced the death penalty if they refused worship a false god. Moses was God's mouthpiece, even though he had an embarrassing stutter. David wrote a psalm about the affair that he committed with Bathsheba. Usually, the thing that helps you most in your times of struggle and difficulties is when someone can relate to your pain and shars how Jesus gets them through it.  You don't have to have all the answers to give to others -- you know pain and you know Jesus. The biggest lesson from Joseph's life is that you are destined to use your pain for God's purpose. Reflection/Discussion Question: What pain in your life have you seen God use for his purposes?