11. Be ready to be tested

Last week we saw how God helped Joseph. He had no experience running a household, and he was still so very young. But despite all that, God placed him in Potiphar's house and blessed everything he did. In fact Potiphar's household was so blessed that the only thing that he had to worry about was what he was going to eat that day. It is truly amazing when you think about how God truly helped Joseph and blessed his work in every way.

But with these blessings came a test. God allowed Joseph to be tested, to see if he will continue to live an honorable life, or if he will compromise at the first chance that he got. This test came in the form of Potiphar's wife. She fell in love with Joseph and insisted that they have an affair. Now this might have been tempting in the flesh for Joseph. He could have cemented his role as head of the house by adhering to her request. But Joseph stood strong and we can clearly see from his answer that he has a very high regard for God too:

"Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" Genesis 39:8, 9

Joseph was a man of integrity and even with a temptation such as this he stood strong. The Bible says that day by day she tempted him. She didn't take no for an answer. But Joseph stood firm.

Temptations come our way on a daily basis too. But the Bible tells us that we will never be tempted above our ability to resist:

"God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

God is faithful and will help us in our temptation, just as He did for Joseph. He provided a way of escape for him and He would do the same for us too.

I remember when I just started working I had to go on an audit with a team of people I didn't know at all. The manager seemed unapproachable to me, and I didn't want to upset him, so I just did my work with the team. Then one Sunday we had to work. Then at lunch we started talking and the manager started asking questions about God, maybe because it was a Sunday that we had to work. It quickly became clear that none of the team members were Christians. Now I wanted to make a good impression on the manager, as I had just started working there and I wanted him to give me a good review. But based on the questions he was asking and the answers he got from the team members I just couldn't keep quiet. I knew that he wouldn't like my answers and I was right. He grinded me with more and more questions after that, but I couldn't back down, I couldn't dishonor God. I was relieved when we could start working again. The next morning he called me into his office. I was shaking with fear of what he might say. And to my surprise he commended me for standing my ground that Sunday and he told me that he was a Christian and simply testing me. I was so relieved and so glad that I didn't back down. He gave me such a good review and said that I earned his respect that day. It was such a relief. I know it could easily have gone the other way too, but that day I realized that I will always stand up for God, no matter what.

God will always be faithful in situations where we feel the need to compromise. He will always provide a way out as He promises in His Word. We needn't ever fear. We need to stand strong against temptations as Joseph did. Next time we will have a look at how it turned out for him. But I am convinced that if he had given in to Potiphar's wife, he would never ever have been exalted to second in charge of the whole of Egypt and he would never have seen his family again. That one situation was make or break for Joseph and fortunately he aced the test.

May we all ace the tests that we need to write in order for God to exalt us to new levels. The exaltation might not come physically immediately, but we will be lifted up spiritually and the physical manifestation will follow. So stand firm for God and His wonderful Word. It will all be worth it.

Father, thank you that we can know that You make all things work together for our good. Thank you that You will never allow temptations to come that we cannot bear. That is such a relief to know. Thank you for providing us with a way of escape. You are so good and faithful. We look forward to walking this road with You. Amen



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