Last night at Kairos, Pastor Mike talked about emotional resilience in the context of the story in Genesis 37 of Joseph. This is the Joseph who had God-given dreams about his destiny. Throughout his story, it seems that poor old Joseph keeps getting punched in the face by life. He was thrown into a pit and later sold into slavery by jealous brothers, he was falsely accused of sexual misconduct by his master’s wife, and he spent two years in prison for the crime he didn’t commit.
Yet the key phrase that defines Joseph in the midst of his troubles was that “God was with him.” Whatever anyone else meant for evil and for harm, God turned to good. Spoiler alert: In fact, God used Joseph’s story to bring about the redemption of a whole race of people who later became Israel.
Two things from Mike’s sermon stood out to me. One was that Joseph trusted in the Dream-giver more than he trusted in his dreams. Even when his circumstances didn’t match his calling, Joseph clung to faith in the God of his great-grandfather Abraham, his grandfather Isaac, and his father Jacob.
Also, he was able to frame his story within the context of God’s greater story. He grew up hearing all about how God had led Abraham to leave a comfortable existence and follow Him without knowing the destination. Joseph heard all the stories time and time again of how God was faithful to fulfill all His covenant promises.
As a wise pastor once said, what you think and what you feel will sometimes lie to you, so you trust in what you know to be true. You trust in the same God who was with Joseph and who is still able to deliver you today.