In the Old Testament, Joseph is that guy who should be mad at God. No matter what he does things do not go his way. Try to hang out with his brothers…they throw him in a pit and sell him into slavery. Try to be a good slave/servant, running the boss’s business and making it successful…accused of rape and thrown into prison. Try to be a model prisoner, help out the other inmates with some insight from God…forgotten and left to rot.
There is a philosophy in modern times that suggests if we do everything right, things will go our way. Conversely, if we do things wrong, they will not. It is one of the more subtle ways that society has taken God out of our lives. If what we do determines our future, then God is simply the Great Observer in the sky. Patting us on the back or spanking us when appropriate. But involved? Not so much.
Doing the right thing, doing the “biblical” thing, does not guarantee life will go the way we think it should. Jesus did everything perfect and right. He ended up being tortured to death. Hated and reviled during His ministry time on earth, rejected and persecuted for preaching healing, deliverance and surrender to the Father.
Joseph did everything right, but keep reaping a reward that we would associate with someone who is not on God’s side. What gave Joseph the strength to lose everything and keep going? Because like Jesus, Joseph did not “live” in his circumstances. He did not get his approval and acceptance through the people and situations in which he found himself. He had a vision. A vision of a future promised to him by God Himself. A reason to keep going, a purpose, a calling. He knew that no matter what the circumstances were, no matter how desperate things might appear, God was with him, and sooner or later it would be ok.
Without a vision the people perish – Prov 29:18. A vision keeps us strong. A vision keeps us aware of God’s Presence in our lives. A vision gives me a reason to get up in the morning even if I am in prison, an unpleasant job or a hospital bed. A vision reminds me that I am a sojourner, a traveler in this world, a child of the King on a mission for God.
When we lose the vision, we open ourselves up to doubt, depression, anger, and all sorts of emotional attacks from the enemies of Christ. Some people give up in prison, some people get stronger. Our connection to the Father through Christ will keep the vision alive in the midst of adversity.
We may do the right thing and end up in a bad circumstance, but with Christ and His calling in our lives, it is a minor detour to the miraculous victories that await us.