“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor Frankl
In modern history, there is not a stain of inhumanness like that of the Holocaust. Millions were killed by the Nazi’s in their attempt to create a “perfect” world. In the midst of the horrors of the concentration camps, there were some determined survivors. One such survivor was a intelligent man named Viktor Fankl. Although, we could identify many individuals who overcame much and came out better, this man encapsulates the power of right thinking. Viktor had a revelation while in Auschwitz; though his captors held every power over him, they could not take his will, his volition, his inner freedom. He had a choice to allow them to own him, or to be free on the inside.
Joseph was faced with much the same circumstances betrayed by his family, and unjustly treated by all, Joseph easily could have become resentful and bitter. He was a worthless slave who was faced with a life of servitude and debasement. It was unfair as unfair could get. Yet Joseph takes initiative between the mistreatment and his response to that abuse. He makes a choice… a choice to be better, to be more. Joseph elects to trust God by faith, and do the best he can with the circumstances that have been dealt to him. He is not making the best of a bad situation, but rather recognizing that his circumstances are divinely placed before him. God placed him there, and would supply the needs. All he needed with faith and the right attitude.
Things seem to be on the up and up for Joseph. He is head in a prominent home, and trusted by all. Then all this comes crashing down. Another opportunity for despair is placed before Joseph. He did what was right, and what was his reward, prison! “How is that fair?” he could have reasoned, and yet he expresses faith and trust again.
He is promoted in the prison, and things seem to be going his way. But then it happens again,; Joseph is forgotten by the butler. What is Joseph’s response? You guessed it, faith and trust.
It can be really easy to look at our circumstances and grumble about the cards dealt to us. “how is this fair?” “why does everyone else get it easier?”, we may protest. We want to have faith and trust in God, but that would be easier if we had such and such’s current life forecast, right?
You cannot control the circumstances of life that come your way, but you are in absolute control of your response to those circumstances. With everything that comes your way, you can choose to trust God and have faith or you can choose to doubt and murmur.
Today, choose to live by faith. You are likely going to have some unexpected or even unpleasant things come your way. Just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn't mean your attitude has to stink the rest of the day. Make the choice that each stimulus will be met with a choice to live in faith and trust in God.
Daily Scripture Reading
Genesis 38 - 40
(Follow this Scripture Reading Plan to accompany this devotion and read through your Bible in a year)
“And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”