Genesis 41:6 – And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
I have been looking at the life of Joseph, and this verse has stuck out to me. This blog will also focus on this verse, but will really just be about Joseph’s life. His faith. Joseph is in Hebrews 11, he is in the great faith chapter of the Bible. We can learn from Joseph, his story is amazing. Joseph had great faith in God. Incredible faith. Note, faith in God, not faith in himself. He said, It is not in me. He had absolutely zero faith in himself. People say believe in yourself. But Joseph would say, Believe in God. Jesus said, Have faith in God. The world says follow your dreams, do what you want to do, live how you want to live. Joseph would say follow God’s dreams, after all this is what he pursued, and this is why he was not bitter. Because they were God’s dreams, dreams that God gave him, he knew they would happen, no matter how impossible and far fetched they seemed. He told his brothers because he believed the dreams God gave him. But the light of God in Joseph’s life shone into the darkness of his brother’s hearts. This is why they hated him, this is why they did not come to the light until years later, because their deeds were evil. Joseph had surrendered his will for his own life to God’s will for his life, this is why he was not bitter. If you were living for yourself, you would be seething, fuming, wrathful at God for rotting away in prison as the prime years of your life are slipping away and you have not even done anything wrong to deserve being there. Joseph’s life was surrendered to God, this is why, despite his painful betrayal by his brothers, and the false accusations which lead to his imprisonment, he could maintain his integrity of character, because of the peace of God that reigned in his heart, no matter the storm.
Joseph stood before Pharaoh. Pharaoh had dreamed a dream. His spirit was troubled. He sought for the answer to his dream. He could not find answers anywhere. He went to the magicians and wise men of the world, and they had no answer that could grant his troubled spirit peace. Bear in mind that Joseph was just a normal, ordinary person. He was just like you and I. He had been in prison. But he had experienced the power and blessing of God in his life. And there is no substitute for this. He knew God answered his prayers. He knew God was real. He had genuine, real faith in God. He said to Pharaoh in faith, God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. What confidence! What trust! What faith! Imagine if we were in the same position. Would you have the faith to say, God will give you an answer of peace. What if God doesn’t deliver would pop into our minds. It’s a bit like Elijah on Mount Carmel. What if God didn’t send the fire? Elijah put himself on the line, his life was on the line. It was all on the line. But the same with Elijah, the same with Joseph, both had the utmost faith, and that faith had been established and proved in their formative years, in the years away from the scene, the days, the years that noone else saw. The days of growing in the grace and knowledge of him. The relationship and fellowship with God. Alone with God in prison. Alone with God at Cherith. God taught them to trust him. They walked with God by faith. And they weren’t presumptuous. They knew the still small voice. They weren’t asking for selfish motives. Their lives were about God’s glory, not selfish vain glory. They weren’t contrary to the will of God in their lives. Their lives were aligned with God’s will, and this is when we will see answered prayer. This is why Joseph could say with confidence, God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Where is your faith at? Does it even exist? Is your faith in God, or have you got faith in yourself? Your capabilities? Your efforts? Are you invested in your dream or God’s dream for your life? Is your life I will or thy will? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. You need God’s word to have faith. Do you have God’s word? Can you say you are reading the very words of God in your Bible? Anything less, and your faith is not being built, but rather compromised. Faith and the word of God are inseparable. We can be so deceived in our minds. We can deceive ourselves. How much of our life is really about God? His glory? His worship? His praise? If you get cast into prison, if you get betrayed, would you still have faith and trust in God? Or is your praise, worship, faith dependent on the blessings God gives you? James says, We have seen the faith of Job. Have you seen Job’s faith? Faith that lasted despite all the evil that befell him, evil that would surely knock our sorry excuse for faith for six if God allowed Satan to try us? Are you able to stand before Pharaoh and declare in confidence that God will answer his dream? Or would you be too bitter about all those years lost rotting in prison for something you didn’t do? Do you have the faith of Joseph? Or are we living in the comfort zone of our temporal sight, while lacking the abundant life that comes with looking on the things that are not seen? It’s about faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. And it’s faith in God, and God alone. Faith in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will save you. And we live by faith after we are saved. And soon we will see him, with our own eyes. Our faith will be joined by physical sight. But will you wail or rejoice to see him? Have faith today.