Losing Your Life for His Purposes
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.” – Luke 9:24
When the time came for God to fulfill Joseph’s dreams, Joseph himself had virtually no interest at all in it. Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it” (Lk. 9:24). God wants to teach us a different set of values so that the kind of thing we start out wanting becomes secondary. God has something in mind for us that is far greater than the interest we began with.
Joseph’s day of exaltation had arrived. Yet, through it all, a very real humiliation had to take place. We know about the humiliation Joseph had experienced for 13 years after being sold by his brothers into slavery, then taken to Egypt. We know how he was falsely accused and cast into prison.
Then came a different situation. Joseph had had a triumph and was given an exaltation, but the kind he really never asked for. He did not appear to be all that interested in what was about to happen. He watched as the Pharaoh took his ring off his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. Joseph never asked for that. All he wanted was to go home. He longed to go back to Canaan, to see his father, and to have his dreams fulfilled.
Therefore, here we find an extraordinary incongruity: a humiliation in the heart of vindication. A triumph that was the opposite of everything he, himself, could have envisaged. Joseph wanted to go home, but a one-way ticket to Canaan wasn’t available. Before he knew it, he had Egypt in his hip pocket. He had never prayed for that. But God wanted Egypt. What God wanted is what Joseph got.
Joseph was given something that he could be trusted with because it didn’t mean that much to him.