Contemplation Website Banner


More to Life

More to Life


More to Life

Devotions for Life

Joseph’s Troubles and Triumphs

Ponder: The Life of Joseph/His good example

Today’s Scripture: “He sent a man ahead of them – Joseph was sold as a servant. The shackles
hurt his feet; his neck was placed in an iron collar, until the time when his prediction
came true. The LORD’s word proved him right.” (Psa. 105.17-24).

Was Joseph, son of Jacob, not a faithful son of God? Was his life not important to the glorious
plan of humanity’s salvation that fourteen out of fifty chapters in Genesis mention his life?
Yes, Joseph was faithful to our Father in heaven, and He used him as an instrument for
righteousness. Giving him power to interpret dreams, God lifted Joseph to power when Pharaoh
noticed that the Living God was with Joseph.

You might wonder why Joseph had such a life of troubles before he was lifted to greatness by
our Father? God doesn’t promise that if we are faithful he will give us lives without troubles.
God uses our troubled lives to build our character and get us through. We see that theme time
and time again throughout the Scriptures.

Joseph’s longsuffering teaches us four life lessons.

Firstly, circumstances matter far less than how we respond to those circumstances.
Joseph could have sat around moping all day about how bad he was treated by his older
brothers when they sold him into slavery. But he didn’t. Instead, just like our Savior,
the rejected son was faithful to God and became the savior of many.

Secondly, with God’s help any situation can be used in God’s glory and eternal purpose.
Joseph, like Jesus and even the Apostle Paul, believed that whatever their sufferings as
long as God was being glorified were worth it.

Lastly, with God it will all work out for good. How many people give up when their plans
don’t work out? Set backs are opportunities. Consider the exponential growth of the Church
soon after the execution of Stephen and the persecution that began that day.

Joseph is a wonderful example for us. Let us be more like him in that he was faithful to God
despite the circumstance in his life. We can learn more from Joseph.

Prayer: Dear God of the living, your Word is my guide and my light. Help me learn more from
it every day. In Jesus’ most holy name.

Song: “Joseph’s Dreams”
Mario A Marin, Taft CA

The Starfish Story (cont.)

A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands
of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and
stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the
ocean. “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he asks. “Because the sun is up
and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.” “But,
old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it!
You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact,
even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.” The old man
listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into
the sea. “It made a difference to that one” (copied).

Again, “How can we minister to the whole world? The answer, “One soul at a time.”
We may not be able to change the entire world, but we can make a difference to a small
part of it.

Not all will respond in a positive, soul saving, way. This is made evident within the
context of Ezekiel chapter three. But there are two lessons to be learned from the
Ezekiel text, 1) We will have fulfilled our obligation, 2) We will have made a
difference to some, if not all. You, and I, can make a difference. Will we make a
difference? “Yet if thou warrn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor
from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul”
(Ezekiel 3:19).

Hymn: You Never Mentioned Him To Me

Prayer: Our heavenly Father we thank You for the loving concern that You have for Your
creation. We thank You for the physical blessings that You constantly bestow upon us.
Likewise we are thankful for the spiritual blessings, especially the hope of an eternal
home in heaven. I pray that we, too, would have a serious concern for both the physical
and the spiritual well being of our fellow man so that we will make a difference in their

Roy Allen Crutcher, Mount Carmel, IL
At least we can change

The Starfish Story

Text: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the
word at my mouth, and give them warning from me” (Ezekiel 3:17).

In our text a warning is given to, God’s then people, Israel. With the understanding that
God’s dealings with Israel, under a different covenant, does not directly apply to us I do
believe that we can agree that the concept of the text does apply to us under a new covenant.

Regardless of the Biblical “age”, whether it be the Patriarchal, the Mosaic or the
Christian age, the fact is that God has always loved, and cared for, all of mankind.
Likewise, God has always desired that we, as well, love and seek the best for our
fellow man. Consider the following admonitions
We are to love our neighbors (Matthew 19:19).
We are to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44).
We are to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Some may be prone to think of God’s concern as relating to only the physical well being
of man. Not so. It also applies, and much more so, to man’s spiritual well being. Relative
to our concern for the well being of others, we are told to “Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). Because of His love God has desired
the best for all of mankind, especially for our salvation.
The question is, “How can we possibly minister to the whole world?” I think the following
story give us a logical answer to this question.