It is interesting to see the sudden turn of events in the life of Joseph after he shared his dreams with his family. What brought him joy and excitement suddenly became a source of pain and sorrow for him. It led him through paths and experiences he would have never asked for if he knew that was what the dreams will make him go through. That’s just the way it is. God always shows us how beautiful the dream will be, then He brings us back to the reality of where we are now so that we can start working it out.
Am sure many times you get so excited about the dreams but you soon realize that you have to return to your present situation when that excitement fizzles out. You must realize that there are no shortcuts to realizing your dreams. You must recognize from the beginning that it will take some sacrifice, hard work, perseverance, etc. for those dreams to come to pass. There is no easy way out!
He Refused the Easy Way Out
Often times, there are booby traps that will be set in your way, designed to derail you and completely stop you from marching towards your dream. This is one reason why you must be careful because most of these traps usually look very tempting and too good to turn away from. One of the booby traps that was placed in the path of Joseph was his master’s wife’s repeated requests for Joseph to sleep with her. This was a lifetime opportunity that would have brought Joseph a lot of comfort and pleasure (at least temporarily).
[Tweet “the easy way out will always be presented to you. It is left for you to follow it or not.”]
But it would have eventually cost him his dream and possibly his life! (His master was a military commander and you know what that means if he was caught). When you decide to indulge and yield yourselves to immediate gratification and short term pleasures, you end up losing the precious dreams that God has given you. Sometimes you may not lose it completely, but you end up derailing or delaying your journey to realizing it. Always remember this: in the pursuit of your dreams, the easy way out will always be presented to you. It is left for you to decide on following it or not.
He Refused to be Bitter
Joseph had many incidents in his life that were very good excuses to be very bitter and resentful. He could have decided not to trust anybody or help anybody again because of the things he had experienced. First of all, his brothers hated him and sold him into slavery, which was why he had to go through all the troubles he had in his life – a good reason to be sworn enemies with his brothers. Secondly, a man he served very faithfully ended up sending him to jail for what he didn’t do. He could have decided to generalize his hatred for Egyptians as a result of what Potiphar did. But he decided to be gracious and to overlook it and take it in good faith. Then he had yet another opportunity to be kind and he helped Pharaoh’s butler interpret his dream. It interpretation happened just as he told the man, the man was restored to his job, but he forgot about him completely. These incidents were enough to validate his hatred and bitterness for his brothers, the Egyptians, and indeed anybody especially strangers. It would have been difficult for him to trust anybody again. Probably he must have felt used and dumped several times because he was practically forgotten in the prison, nobody was talking about him – maybe nobody outside of the prison even knew he still existed.
He Decided to be Gracious
Yet, when Pharaoh was troubled and in need of help, he decided to provide the solution again. He could have said to himself “this is how they use me and dump me, they want to use me again afterward they’ll dump me in this prison, afterall I am a slave. Please tell Pharaoh I don’t know the interpretation of the dream”. Imagine what would have happened to his dream if this was his response.
[Tweet “You will always encounter unpleasant and difficult situations on your way to your dreams”]
This maybe how you have destroyed the dreams that God has given you. You have allowed unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, and pride take you away from the path to the realization of the dreams that God gave you. You will always encounter unpleasant and difficult situations on your way to your dreams, how you respond to such situations will determine how soon you will achieve your dreams or whether you will ever achieve them at all.
He was not Vindictive
Revenge! -Payback time. This would have been the natural thing for many people to do after going through the kind of experience Joseph went through to become the Prime Minister in Egypt. Many people would have looked for Potiphar as well as many of the people who made life difficult for him when he was in prison to ‘teach them some lessons’ or at least make them face “justice”. And when his brothers came in search for food, he would have made sure he reminded them of his dreams and possibly made them his servants. But Joseph never contemplated anything like that at all, he knew that it was God that was orchestrating all the events of his life to bring His purposes to pass. This must be the disposition that you should have at all times. It is God that is at work in you, somebody may mean evil to harm you but God (who is at work in you) will turn it around for your own good. When you have this understanding, it keeps you from being vindictive and it becomes difficult for anything to derail your journey towards your dreams.
How have you been dealing with the challenges you have encountered in your efforts to achieve your dreams?