The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

Even though Joseph did not fall into temptation with Potiphar’s wife, her false accusations now land him in the dungeon. When he thought he could not go any lower than a slave, Joseph finds himself in a lower place as a prisoner. If I were Joseph I would have been greatly discouraged at this point in my life. Joseph may have wondered, why is the Lord letting this happen to me?

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

We live in a sinful world and people have free will to sin against us. This is where we begin our reading today. 19 Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. 20 So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. 22 Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. 23 The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed. 

Many people search for meaning in life. They try the world and all that it has to offer only to find out it is as empty as outer space. Only God can satisfy our inner hunger as we turn to Him in faith. When we open our hearts, God will transform them by His power. God doesn’t want us to wander through life constantly wondering who we are or why we’re here. Instead, Christ came into the world to bring us back to God, and He will restore us as we commit our lives to Him.

Don’t be deceived by those who urge you to take a wrong road, no matter how glamorous or famous they seem to be. Instead, make Christ the center of your life. “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. Matthew 7:13-14

As we close today, come to the cross of Jesus, come to the foot of the cross where we can confess our sins. These sins keep us in prison, but there is freedom at the foot of the cross. It is there that we can find healing, fulfillment, and the true meaning in life. Humble yourself and come to the cross of Jesus and He will transform your heart.

Listen to our podcast to hear more about the story of Joseph.

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (2 Ti 3:12). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 39:19–23). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 7:13–14). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

The Rainbow reminds us the Lord is with us in our storms

Joseph, the son of Jacob, came from a highly dysfunctional family. Today, we might it call it a “blended” family (the 12 brothers were born of 4 different mothers), and the brothers always seemed to be fighting. About the only thing that united his brothers was their hatred of him. And because his brothers hated him, Joseph ended up thrown into a pit, sold into slavery. Joseph’s brothers had actually planned to kill him, but their greed overcame their hatred long enough for them say: “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all (pause) he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” Genesis 37:26-27

     Then they soaked Joseph’s cherished coat of many colors in goat’s blood and brought it back to their father. They watched callously as their father cried out in anguish, tore his garments and mourned for days. With brothers like that, Joseph didn’t need enemies. So in Genesis 39 we find Joseph in Egypt as a slave. He had been ripped from his home and his friends, dragged across the desert to a land that he’d never known and surrounded by a strange people who spoke in a language he couldn’t understand.

     Even if he could have gotten away from his slave owner, he probably couldn’t have found his way home! At 17, he’d lost everything that he’d loved and considered important. And now he lived at the whim of his master. He’s the lowest form of life in the nation of Egypt. He has nothing… he owns nothing… he IS nothing. Just like all the other slaves of that day, he has no rights, no status, no value.

    BUT, Joseph did have one thing that other slaves in Egypt didn’t…He had a God who cared for him.  Our relationship with God gives us hope in the midst of the storms of life. Our relationship with the Lord is our lifeline, it is our spiritual umbilical cord, and it sustains us in the good times and the most trying times of our lives.

Eugene Peterson translates the first few verses of Psalm 46 like this:

1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

As you read this you may feel abandoned like Joseph. But in the midst of the storm you are in or have experienced in the past the Lord is with you. Cry out to the Lord in the time of your need for He loves you and wants to help you.

Listen to our podcast to hear more about the story of Joseph.

 Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Ps 46:1–3). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

Potiphar’s wife was tempting Joseph

Joseph is now in Egypt as a slave who has been sold to one of Pharaoh’s officials Potiphar the captain of the guard. The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. (Genesis 39:2-3 NLT) After a difficult time in his life, Joseph seems to be doing well. But then a new a dangerous challenge comes into his life. Temptation!

Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.” 10 She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible. Genesis 39:6-10, The Message

Temptation can come when we least expect it and often comes when we are tired and have let our guard down. If I am tempted, what are some steps I can take?

1. Pray as Jesus taught, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).

When the disciples kept yielding to sleep while Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told them to “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Matthew 26:41) Apart from God, we have no hope of resisting temptation. This is why humbling ourselves in prayer is so important. Praying as Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer is praying that God would help deliver us from even facing temptation. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you are struggling with temptation, you should not only pray but ask others to pray for you.

2. Rest

When we are tired we are much easier prey for the enemy than if we are well rested. Being well rested and spiritually alert are keys in not falling into the traps of the enemy.

3. God always gives a way of escape

No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. 1 Cor. 10:13 The Message

Although there is no perfect five step process to avoid temptation, the key is finding what works for you. Know yourself and how the Lord works with you. Pray and ask the Lord to help you form a plan.

What temptation are you facing? What is the Lord telling you to do to resist and overcome the situation?

 Listen to our podcast to hear more about the story of Joseph.

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 39:6–10). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

 Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (1 Co 10:13). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.

Click on the graphic above to go to the podcast

Come journey with Joseph. He was on a journey of faith and didn’t even realize it at the time. It was not an easy journey, but it turned out to be a life-giving journey, not just for himself but for his entire family and his adopted country. Joseph’s story sheds new light on our own spiritual journey; this light is the Light of Christ. These podcasts are also connected to our other blogs. Read along to find out more about the stories.

Today in our story Joseph’s life was good. He was his dad’s favorite son and even God had given him some great dreams. In one day everything changes. Where is God in suffering?

Artifact from Egypt

In our story Joseph was thrown into a dry cistern by his brothers because they hated him. Later they took him out of the cistern and sold him to Midianite traders who would take him to Egypt. 

Joseph in Potiphar’s House

When Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat! 

Joseph’s journey to Egypt would have taken several weeks traveling over desert terrain covering about 300 miles. What would he have been thinking about? What kind of prayers did he pray?  If I had been Joseph I would have been doing a lot of reflection along the way.

Joseph makes it to Egypt and then is sold to the captain of the guard for Pharaoh. When all seemed lost, the Lord did rescue Joseph, but not in a way he thought of or imagined. As we go through life much of what we experience along our faith walk is not what we would have planned out. Although in life we maybe in a difficult situation, as we turn to the Lord, He can enable us to see light in the darkness. 

Although Joseph was a slave, he was determined to be the best he could be where the Lord had placed him. A once arrogant young man was being refined by the Lord for future plans He had for him. 

Although none of us want to sign up for difficult times in life, it is those times when we grow the most spiritually and come closer to God. Throughout history the persecuted church always finds its legs and moves forward in ways they never could imagine. 

Take time and look back on your own life and reflect how the Lord was with you during difficult times. Give thanks to God how He has preserved you for such a time as this. 

 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ge 39:1–6). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Joseph brothers hated him so much that they threw him in a dry cistern and left him to die. When a better opportunity presented, they pulled him out and sold him to Midianite merchants. How will they cover up their crime? What will their father’s reaction be? Will it work out like they thought? Today we continue our story with Joseph from Genesis 37:31-36.

31–32  They took Joseph’s coat, butchered a goat, and dipped the coat in the blood. They took the fancy coat back to their father and said, “We found this. Look it over—do you think this is your son’s coat?”33  He recognized it at once. “My son’s coat—a wild animal has eaten him. Joseph torn limb from limb!”34–35  Jacob tore his clothes in grief, dressed in rough burlap, and mourned his son a long, long time. His sons and daughters tried to comfort him but he refused their comfort. “I’ll go to the grave mourning my son.” Oh, how his father wept for him.36  In Egypt the Midianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, manager of his household affairs.

Joseph’s brothers believed the lies of our enemy satan. Get rid of your brother and all your problems will be solved. What they did not count on was having to live with their lies and their father’s deep grief.

What do I do if I find myself in a situation where my own sin just created a huge mess? The good news is if we go to the Lord, He will show us how to correct the situation. To correct the problem may not be easy. The people we offended or hurt may not want to listen to us or trust us. Even if people don’t want to hear our apology, we can confess our sins to the Lord and ask the Lord to forgive us.

For all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, forgiveness has been freely given. If we acknowledge our wrongs and ask for forgiveness, God will forgive us – no questions asked: If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:8-9

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8

Where in your life is the Lord calling you to confess your sin to him and ask for forgiveness?

 Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (Ge 37:31–36). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.
 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (1 Jn 1:8–9). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
 Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Eph 1:7–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted;  you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 
 The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Ps 10:17). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Joseph was the favorite child of all of his brothers. His father made him a special robe to wear which created more strife between Joseph and his brothers. In addition, Joseph had dreams from the Lord he shared with his brothers that portrayed them bowing down to him. The brothers could not say a good word about Joseph, and they call him the dreamer. Joseph’s father had sent him to check on his brothers, but as they see him approaching, they plotted how to kill him. 

23–24 When Joseph reached his brothers, they ripped off the fancy coat he was wearing, grabbed him, and threw him into a cistern. The cistern was dry; there wasn’t any water in it. 25–27   Then they sat down to eat their supper. Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites on their way from Gilead, their camels loaded with spices, ointments, and perfumes to sell in Egypt. Judah said, “Brothers, what are we going to get out of killing our brother and concealing the evidence? Let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not kill him—he is, after all, our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. 28  By that time the Midianite traders were passing by. His brothers pulled Joseph out of the cistern and sold him for twenty pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites who took Joseph with them down to Egypt. 29–30  Later Reuben came back and went to the cistern—no Joseph! He ripped his clothes in despair. Beside himself, he went to his brothers. “The boy’s gone! What am I going to do!” Genesis 37:23-30 / The Message

Place yourself in the story as Joseph. You are crying, bruised and seem to be in a hopeless situation. Where is God? Is he helpless? Does he hear my cries? Has he forgotten about me? I believe if I were Joseph, I would have been asking all those questions. 

Maybe you feel like Joseph today and it seems like the Lord is unaware of what you are going through. But is that really true? We read in Isaiah 43:2, “When you go through deep waters, Iwill be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

In a real sense the Lord is our Father the good shepherd. As a parent there is nothing that hurts us more than seeing someone hurting one of our children. When you are hurting it also hurts the Lord. 

Where in your life do you need to turn over your hardship to the Lord? Come to him; he is waiting. 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

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