Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes it seems as if everything is going great then suddenly it seems as if nothing can go right. Luckily throughout Scripture we see examples of the same thing happening to those we consider heroes of the Bible.
Job is one who experienced a gigantic rollercoaster ride! He was going along doing all the right things, his life being extremely blessed then suddenly WHAM! He lost everything! We also see Joseph on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. You might say he went from the pit to the pedestal then from the penthouse to prison. Talk about an up and down life.
After being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he arrived at a man’s house who had influence with the Pharaoh of Egypt. Instead of moaning and groaning about his situation, Joseph began to use his talents and gifts God had given him. The result was advancement in the influential man’s organization. The man placed Joseph in charge over all he owned and the Lord blessed Egypt because of Joseph.
Sadly, Joseph gained more recognition than he desired when the man’s wife made advances toward him. However, Joseph did not dishonor the man for whom he worked nor go against what God would have him to do, so he fled leaving her holding his garment. Sadly, the woman made up false accusations and Joseph was thrown into prison.
Even while Joseph was in prison, he conducted himself in a way which pleased God and therefore the Lord blessed all Joseph did. He eventually was in charge of all the prisoners and after some time interpreted the dreams of two men who had fallen out of favor with the king.
There are a number of things we can see in this story which brought continual success to Joseph. First, even while in prison Joseph did not feel sorry for himself, but instead embraced the moment. Second, he never allowed success to cloud his vision of what was ethically right. Third, he used the gifts God had given him and adapted to the varying situations rather than exerting energy to fight against the circumstances in which he found himself. Fourth, every problem was viewed as a possibility. Fifth, Joseph knew there was no substitute for hard work. Finally, Joseph remembered no matter what work he was doing, he was doing it for the Lord. Therefore, he sought to honor God in each circumstance he faced, either good or bad.
In short, all of the success Joseph enjoyed in the varying circumstances was rooted in his relationship with the Lord. When we live our lives for the purpose of glorifying God, the location from which we do so is of secondary importance…be it the pit or the pedestal, the prison or the penthouse. What really matters is the attitude with which we face the varying circumstances.
The way for success is to always honor the Lord in the circumstances, whatever they may be…