Week of March 31, 2013
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come . . .” -Isaiah 46:10
New beginnings often feel great. Filled with excitement and relief, we get to leave the past behind and enter into a new season with great anticipation, hope and promise, with a new vision. Job promotions, weddings and childbirths are prominent examples.
But for some, beginnings can feel treacherous. Letting go of comfortable, established relationships—colleagues, family members, homes and jobs—can force us to confront anxiety, uncertainty and even fear of the unknown.
As in all new seasons, our only certainty and security is found in God. To Him, we must cling as we journey forth over every hill and valley ahead.
Joseph’s young life began just prior to God setting him and his family free on a new beginning back to their native land (Gen. 30:25, 31:3). Highly favored by both his Heavenly and earthly fathers, and hated and betrayed by his brothers, Joseph was eventually sold to a caravan of Ishmaelites, which began his journey to Egypt (Gen. 37:27). Once there, he was resold to Potiphar, where he began a journey of slavery (Gen. 37:36).
In the beginning of Joseph’s enslavement, Potiphar saw God’s favor upon him and placed him in the highest position over his household and all his possessions (Gen. 39:3-4).
Even when Potiphar’s wife betrayed Joseph, which began his prison term, the warden took notice of God’s favor upon him, putting Joseph in charge of other prisoners right at the outset (Gen. 39:23).
And immediately after interpreting Pharoh’s dream, Joseph was placed in charge over Egypt (Gen. 41:43). In the beginning of his new position of authority, he also began a marriage journey. Then a travel journey over Egypt. And then a journey of parenting.
Holding onto God from the beginning and throughout, Joseph forgot all his troubles and became fruitful in the land of his suffering (Gen. 41:51-52). Coming full circle, Joseph was able to feed the very brothers who betrayed him, sustaining their lives.
No matter what his circumstances, Joseph was blessed from every beginning. Determined to do the right thing, he handled his journeys with kindness, obedience, longsuffering, trust and patience. He was tested and refined. Crafted and fired, he emerged an overseer of a nation, blessing those who persecuted him. Holding tight to his faithful God along the way, Joseph was consistently promoted and rewarded.
Only through obedience to God can we maintain divine favor from beginning to end amid our circumstances. God is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 21:6). It’s simply a matter of whether we will cooperate His way along the way, even if it seems that so many of our new beginnings occur after a catalyst of discord.
If you find yourself in the starting blocks of a new beginning, placed there by God, choose to trust Him no matter what. Know that He has purposed your journey, that He is in control and that He has a plan, even if a catalyst of chaos, betrayal and despair try to overtake you. If you remain obedient to God, you will see His purposes and blessings unfold and receive all the abundance and reward that He has for you, ultimately forgetting all the injustices that occur along the way.