[As Stephen continued his defense, he pointed to God's faithfulness through Joseph:] "But a famine came upon Egypt and Canaan. There was great misery, and our ancestors ran out of food. Jacob heard that there was still grain in Egypt, so he sent his sons — our ancestors — to buy some. The second time they went, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, and they were introduced to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and all his relatives to come to Egypt, seventy-five persons in all. So Jacob went to Egypt. He died there, as did our ancestors. Their bodies were taken to Shechem and buried in the tomb Abraham had bought for a certain price from Hamor’s sons in Shechem."
— Acts 7:11-16 NLT
Few people in the Bible show the faith and grace that Joseph displayed. Yes, when he was a younger boy, he was brash and arrogant. However, God used his suffering mistreatment, abandonment, imprisonment, temptation, and forgetfulness of allies to shape Joseph. Joseph triumphed over unfairness. His faithful graciousness pointed people to God's faithfulness and power. God used Joseph not only to save his family (Jacob, his father whose name was later changed to Israel in Genesis 32:22-29, and his children) but also to save the nations around Egypt. As the letter of 1 Peter repeatedly reminds us, we are God's holy people. If we suffer, let's suffer for doing what is right, so that people will allow us an opportunity to share the reason for hope! Joseph modeled that kind of life, and the world was changed. Let's commit to live that kind of life, too!
Almighty God, I realize through the Joseph story that my faithfulness matters. Forgive me when I hold onto bitterness because of the wrong I have suffered from others. Forgive me for my competitive spirit that clouds my eyes and leads me to forget I'm trying to please you. Forge my convictions and use the pressure that is on me to display your power and grace. I ask this in the name of my brother, hero, and Lord, Jesus of Nazareth. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Hebrews 2:14-15
- 1 Peter 3:13-18, 4:12-19
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.