The Secret of Success
“The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.” Genesis 39:2-3
How do you measure success? Is it by your circumstances? Is it based on how you feel or by what others think and say about you? Is your success based on goals and plans that you have made, or the expectations of others? There are many ways to define success. But there is only One who is the True Judge. His ways are righteous and just; but His methods are at times unconventional and even perplexing.
No one knew this better than Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. God considered Joseph successful long before he was Pharaoh’s right-hand man. Long before he single-handedly saved Egypt from a famine, God’s presence and favor was on him.
If circumstances dictated success, then Joseph would have been out of luck. Hated by his brothers…thrown into a pit and left for dead…sold into slavery and taken to Egypt…falsely accused of assaulting his master’s wife…thrown into prison…Joseph’s circumstances were less than ideal. And yet, Scripture says that he was successful for one simple reason. It wasn’t because of all the great things he did. It was because the Lord was with him.
Isn’t it interesting that this passage says, “His master saw that the Lord was with him…?” The word “master” is a glaring reminder of where Joseph is, and what has happened to him. He is a slave…owned by someone else. And yet, God is with him. In His sovereignty, this is all part of His plan for His people. Joseph is right where he is supposed to be…where he was ordained to be.
Was it easy or pleasant, just because it was God’s will? I doubt it! So often when we face hard circumstances, we wonder what God is doing. It is difficult to believe that His will could include such suffering. It is hard to see ourselves as “successful” in the midst of slavery to unfair circumstances. But God never promised a fair life. He never promised an easy, carefree life. But He does promise to be with us, just like He was with Joseph. And maybe, just maybe, that is all it takes for us to be successful, too.
Holy Father, Help me to be successful in Your eyes. Give me the desire to please You above anyone else. May others see that You are with me, and living through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.