“And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.” (Genesis 39:2; King James Bible Version (KJV).
“And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39: 19-21 (KJV).
And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper. (Genesis 39: 22 & 23 (KJV).
The Old Testament of the Bible has a lot to say about Joseph, a shepherd boy, whose life kept going from bad to worse, with one dramatic experience after another. While tending to his sheep, one day, he was sold into slavery by his older brothers, taken by a caravan into Egypt, and sold as a slave to a wealthy Egyptian. Next, he was falsely accused by his Master’s wife of trying to rape her, and then thrown into prison. His plight seemed dark for several years, before, finally, ending up in a place of power in the Pharoah’s court in Egypt. And that is onlya part of his life’s drama! (See Genesis, Chapter 29 of the Old Testament for much more of Joseph’s story.)
In every bad situation that came into Joseph’s experience, the Biblical account keeps repeating one fact: ‘the Lord was with Joseph’. So, throughout his dramas, every bad situation was soon followed by a good situation, which made even Joseph’s enemies realize that everything they tried to do against him, only served to raise him up further in his human life experience.
Ultimately, he was elevated, by the Pharoah in Egypt, to Paroah’s second in command of all Egypt. His fame was next to Pharaoh’s fame. When a seven-year famine devastated Egypt, Joseph saved the lands of Egypt and around about. And, finally, Joseph was reunited with his father and brothers who came to Egypt for food during the famine. Thus, after so many year, even Joseph’s original family was restored to him. Every bad thing that had happened to him, only served to raise him up in status and abundance.
So, here are a couple of facts in Joseph’s story that we all need to keep in our ‘memory banks’. First, God didn’t bless Joseph with just one thing; rather, Joseph received blessings stacked upon blessings. No blessing was withheld. Whatever earthly woes took over Joseph’s life at any one time, they were only a temporary thing, which God removed.
The story of Joseph’s whole life illustrates that God, divine Love, never afflicts his own children; and we are all Spirit’s children. Because that is true, whatever material troubles that afflict us, never have their beginnings in God. In spiritual fact, our earthly challenges have no connection to God. They come from own belief in a power opposed to God. They all carry with them the belief in powers beyond God. No such powers actually exist. God doesn’t love, and bless, Its children, and then turn around and hurt them, or withhold good from them at another time. The bible tells us: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (See James 1:17; KJV ).
This was what Christ Jesus meant when he once asked his followers, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” (James 3:11; KJV). God’s blessing are always flowing to Its children, for in the kingdom of God, there is no lack of any good thing.
So, why, then, do those good things refuse to ‘flow’ into our individual, human experiences? Because, in some way, we have forgotten to bring God into our situation. God is our Source of all good, that flows to us forever. When we are threatened with ill-health, lack of funds, hatred from others, and any other discordant situation arising from the seeming ‘powers’ of this material sense of existence, we must let go of the human inclination to try to fix things ourselves, and, instead, allow the Creator to take over.
Now, that is not as easy as it should be. Because we are conditioned from physical birth to learn how to take care of ourselves in this often hostile, material environment, an invisible God is the last thing we expect to help us. Therefore, to trust an invisible God (whom we don’t perceive in any finite, physical form) seems to be a lot to ask of us. So, we are taught from an early age to take care of ourselves when we’re in any trouble of any kind. Yet, when we try trusting God to take over our burden from us, and we experience a healing in some way, shape or form, next time it becomes easier to trust the invisible presence of divine Spirit with our trials and tribulations.
So, instead of trusting our own power and ability, we serve ourselves better to remember that the invisible kingdom of God is ever-present, to call upon when we can’t handle whatever threatens us. Despite whatever threatens us in this human experience, God is always stronger. We don’t have to prove our own strength; we need only remember that infinite Spirit, (God) is our only Authority. Then, standing firmly in trust of our spiritual Source of strength, we are never left stranded.
People, places and things do not rule us; we just fear that they do. When threatened, we anticipate our worst fears. That’s why faith in the Almighty, and the invisible kingdom of God is the first things we should turn to, in all times of stress. Even if all we do is think about God in times of stress can often bring new thoughts and new ways out of a dilemma. That’s because these new thoughts and ways are coming from within our true consciousness…our Christ-Consciousness. The universal Christ-Consciousness is our God-connection. It is our innate, spiritual consciousness that sleeps deeply within us all.
The reason there are people, like Joseph, (who seemed so blessed) is that these individuals are really disciplined with trusting in the invisible, omnipresence of God. Once we develop that trust, we often feel as though a big weight has been lifted from our shoulders…and it has. Fear disappears, and a peaceful feeling takes over. Then the material scene adjusts to the natural harmony of God’s creation, and the threat, whatever it was, disappears from our human experience. When all fear has gone and that peace of God’s harmonious control over all washes over us, the human, material scene adjusts back to normalcy. This adjustment proves that the invisible presence of God’s natural, harmonious Kingdom is always here.
But there is another reason to handle fear; for when we fear something, it means that we’re believing in a power opposed to God, and that belief breaks the First Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3; KJV). This directive means, ‘do not believe that any power, besides God, exists’; for, in Truth, there is only One Power in existence, and that is Spirit’s (God’s) power over all creation.
When we believe that other powers exist, besides God, we will fear them, and not trust God. Then, our belief in a power besides God serves to open a mental door to ‘create’ (externalize) what we fear. As children of our Creative God, we have the ability to ‘create’ externally whatever we deep-down believe, be it good or bad. That is why Christ Jesus told his followers, “As thou hast believed, so be it unto you.” (Matthew 8:13; KJV).
When I find I am fearing something, or someone, I have a method that works for me and helps me disarm the fear. For example, if an individual tries to rule over me, or attack me in some way, (at work or just out in the world) I remind myself that God is my only Authority, even though that person seems to have some measure of human power over my circumstances. I remember that I have only One Authority over me, and that is God; and God beats out all human seeming-authorities. It’s a spiritual fact that I live by, for it chases away fearful situations in work situations, neighborhood situations, family situation, and just about any time someone tries to intimidate, threaten, or harm me in some way.
In his human experience, Joseph created his own life full of blessing from God, by trusting the infinite goodness and ever-presence of divine Love’s sovereignty over all. Under God’s ever-present eye, whatever bad human situations came Joseph’s way came only on a temporary basis, and only to elevate him. It’s just God’s way, for the faithful.