One of the world’s most famous leader of his time is on his deathbed, he gathers his family around for some final words. This leader was promoted to second in command of his country because he was endowed with wisdom and direction from God. Through his administration he was able to save not only his country but other surrounding nations. He was trustworthy, loyal, faithful, God-fearing and highly successful.
The world leader I am referring to is Joseph son of Jacob.
Genesis 39:2a (ESV)
The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man,
Pastor Todd finally reached the end of Genesis and closed with a message entitled a successful life. Pastor Todd pointed out that in the final verses of Genesis we discover Joseph had the opportunity to discuss anything, his position, his wealth, his success and yet the advice he gives provides for us a roadmap for true success.
A Successful Person Points Others To Faith In God’s Promises
Genesis 50:24 (ESV)
24 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
On his deathbed Joseph points those around him to a faithful and promise keeping God. Joseph’s priority, his main concern is magnifying his gracious and merciful God who will lead them to the promise land because God is faithful to keep his promises.
The reason Joseph knows this is because he has first hand knowledge, experience and a relationship with a faithful God. He was delivered from the hands of his murderous brothers (Gen. 37), given favour by his Egyptian master (Gen 39), delivered from false imprisonment (Gen 40-41) and promoted to second in command of Egypt (Gen 41). God was faithful to Joseph from the pit to the palace and as a result of God’s grace, Joseph responded in faith.
A successful person points those around him to have faith in God’s promises because he has been transformed through faith in God’s Promise which is Christ. A successful person has experienced the ups and downs of life and looks up to God instead of the circumstances around him and realizes his help comes from the Lord (Psa. 121). As a result of God’s faithfulness, the successful person is pointing those around him to first have faith in Christ and then to the promises provided to the believer in Christ.
A Successful Person Knows Faith Grows Best In The Garden Of Adversity.
When you read Joseph’s words notice he makes a compelling statement twice, “God will take care of you”. How does Joseph know this?
Joseph has lived a life of trial by fire. His brothers first plan to kill him but then decided to sell him into slavery (Gen. 37), falsely accused of rape and falsely imprisoned (Gen. 39), forgotten in prison by a cupbearer (Gen 40). Joseph experienced adversity, but instead of responding in bitterness, he responded with a godly perspective.
Joseph’s life exuded Romans 8:28,
Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Joseph seemed to take every adversity as a stepping stone to growing in every aspect of life. When he was with Potiphar he became the household manager, when in prison he became the assistant to the chief prison guard and from prison he became second in command of Egypt.
A successful person will discover that adversity is the Lord’s garden of development. He will take his pride, bitterness and circumstances and leave them at the cross of Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to build the necessary characteristics for growth. He will also turn the adversity into opportunities of learning and discovery to develop the whole person. Finally, when faced with adversity the successful person never quits but finds an opportunity to use his time, talents and treasures where he is planted, even if it is in prison.
When he became reacquainted with his brothers, Joseph had the opportunity to look back on all that has happened and he provides this powerful commentary on his life,
Genesis 45:7-8 (ESV)
7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
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.
A Successful Person Leads With A Stubborn Hope
Joseph’s final recorded words in Genesis are,
Genesis 50:25b (ESV)
“God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
There is no doubt in Joseph’s mind that God will visit Israel one day in the future. He is looking forward to the day Israel moves into their own land with faith’s eye. I think Joseph can feel the excitement of the day God leads Israel into the promised land. Through the eye of faith, with all the excitement he can muster and with hope filled surety in his heart he tells the people of Israel take my bones with you.
Joseph may have been second in command of Egypt, but his association, his identity was among the people of God. While staring death in the face, his faith and hope were in God who would one day give them a land of their own. That’s hope!
A successful person lives life with the end in mind, he lives for the moment that Christ says “well done good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). He looks with the eye of faith and with hope filled surety to that day and bases his present decisions on that future hope with a lovingly tenacious attitude.
Until Next Time