Word for the day day by Christian Education Forum

 Youth: Search for a Meaningful Life

Genesis 39:1-23
the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.- Genesis 39:21
In a postmodern world that pervades our cultural and theological sensibilities, it is no surprise we find ourselves struggling to attribute “meaning” to anything. Even the phrase “meaning of life” carries semantics of which we often aspire to attain yet cannot fully grasp in our present state. It calls for attention towards circumstances beyond our current situation to inspire direction or hope. 

We read in our text about Joseph, a seventeen-year-old man upon his first mentioning within Genesis. He was favored by his father Jacob, resulting in hatred amongst his brothers who eventually contemplated his murder. Instead, they sold Joseph to foreigners for the price of twenty silver shekels (Gen 37:28) and rumored his ultimate demise by a ferocious animal, so that Jacob may never find him. In these terrible circumstances, how easy would it have been for Joseph to forget about God’s promises over his life as seen in the significance of his dreams from long ago (Gen 37:5-6, 9)? 

Joseph finds himself in a foreign land amongst the Egyptians under the household of Potiphar. Joseph could have been enraged by his circumstances or defeated in his plights for freedom, but instead, he continued to persist in his faith shown through his life as evidenced in the text that “the Lord was with him…the Lord gave him success in everything he did” (Gen 39:3). We see this phrase recurs after Potiphar’s wife’s deception and lie resulted in Joseph being placed in prison- “But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden” (Gen 39:20-21). In both environments, the Lord used Joseph in a foreign land to reveal His anointing over him and all those around Joseph. Even in the midst of injustice and harsh realities, Joseph did not waver from the hope and faith he had in God. His “meaning of life” was defined by what he had seen in his dreams-God’s promise over his life, and his present circumstances did not deter him from seeing this promise come to fruition as seen in his revelation to his brothers- “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (Gen 45:6). 

    Joseph demonstrates patience in the midst of struggle as he sought meaning in his life through his faithfulness in God. It took over thirteen years, from the time he was sold to slavery to the moment he was established as a member of Pharaoh’s council, for God’s revelation in his dream to become a reality. I challenge us to do the same- whether it be a difficult year in school with constant transitions, the progressively complicating work-life balance over these past few years, the exhaustion and apathy from our daily encounters that just weigh our hearts down, or the longing of reality from what God has revealed over your life. Let us remind ourselves with the Word in these times of uncertainty, struggle, and despair to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23). 

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your faithfulness and mercy towards us when we are most broken. Thank you for showing us through the Word the countless examples of meaning and purpose defined in the lives of those striving towards You. Grant us insight and patience as Your Plan unfolds for our lives, so that we may remain steadfast in our present circumstances and faithful in prayer. Amen.

Thought of the day
Joseph remained faithful to God in the midst of the countless struggles he endured. How can we emulate Joseph’s tenacity and fervor for God as we embark on our lives today?

Robin Thundil Varughese

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