February 26, 2010

Faith: A Fixed Focus GENESIS 39:1-20

Abiding in God’s will requires a steady, trust-filled focus upon Him. The life of Joseph provides us with a good illustration.

Keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord helps us remain faithful in the midst of hardship. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt. Upon arrival, he became the slave of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Joseph handled his betrayal and bondage in a godly way. Instead of becoming bitter or refusing to cooperate, he chose to perform every duty with excellence. As a result, he was promoted to oversee Potiphar’s household. The entire time, Joseph kept his gaze centered on the Lord who prospered him.

Having a focus of faith allows us to avoid temptation and choose godliness instead. Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph, but he rejected her advances. When he refused to sin against God (v. 9), she falsely accused him of attacking her—and her lies were believed. Ignoring Joseph’s record of hard work and faithful service, Potiphar unjustly imprisoned him. Had we been in Joseph’s place, we might at this point be asking our heavenly Father why this happened—or thinking how unfairly we were being treated. However, Joseph did not turn his attention away from the Lord. His belief continued to sustain him.

Adversity reveals the substance of our faith. In hard times, we discover how much we really trust in the Lord. If doubt about God and His promises takes root in our thinking, it can lead us off His chosen path. Because of Joseph’s steady belief, he recognized God’s constant presence and flourished.