You're so vain.

Genesis 45:8 (NRSV)

[8]So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

You know that one friend, one co-worker, one sibling, or even one parent who seems to hold you back from your purpose? They know just what to say to make you feel small, unimportant, and drain you of the energy you need to follow your dreams. Just when you finally start to feel like you are moving your life forward, here they come to kick you back in place, and at times, they even seem to enjoy it. Typical hater behavior.

But have you ever stopped to think that maybe you are giving that person too much credit? Maybe the challenges you face have nothing to with a negative person or challenging situation, but have everything to do with God.

If there was anyone to ever get it, it was Joseph. His own brothers sold him, and then told his father that Joseph had been killed. They started a series of seemingly unfortunate events that eventually lead to Joseph becoming a ruler over Egypt. So perhaps the unfortunate events of Joseph's life weren't so unfortunate after all. 

And maybe it wasn't Joseph's brothers who get the credit for beating him down, so God could build him up, but maybe it was God all along. In fact, that is exactly what Joseph says in this verse: "It was not you who sent me here, but God..."

So know that your haters, the people who dismiss you, the very ones who make you doubt your dreams won't get to take credit when you fulfill your purpose, but God will.

He is setting you up.  He has a plan for your future.  He is preparing you for your destiny.

Do not be afraid.

Genesis 46:3 (NRSV)

[3] Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there..."

Fear. Even as I am typing this post I am trying to fight it. I am not sure how many times the Bible says "Do not be afraid," but I am pretty certain it is A LOT. Fear is part of the human condition, something that we all have to battle and face in our own ways everyday.

Some people thrive from facing and overcoming their fears, and some of us (me) would rather play games on their phone than deal with anything that seems remotely scary.

Sometimes it isn't even the action of facing your fear that seems scary, but what happens after. What happens when God keeps his word and makes something great out of the simple action you took of facing your fear. Talk about scary. We have a big God, and sometimes His big promises can be intimidating.

But God tells us time and time again, "Do not be afraid." He knows you are a scaredy cat. He knows you are anxious, you are nervous, and you are a normal human, and all of those things make you super lovable in His eyes. Take a deep breath, take the first step, and let Him guide you.


GENESIS 41: 39-40 (NRSV)

[39] So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. [40] You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you."

There are moments in life when we are tried and tested. Sometimes those moments seem to extend past a few minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, to years and years.

In Joseph's case he suffered setback upon setback when he shared his dreams of greatness with his brothers. He was sold, cast away from his family, and even ended up in prison. But in one moment, everything changed. 

In one instant, with a few words, Joseph's life transformed. He went from prisoner to second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. In a split second his dreams became realized.

Stay the course, have faith, believe in your dreams. God is setting you up for greatness.