“The second son [Joseph] named Ephraim and said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.’’” Genesis 41:52b

Hated by his siblings, sold into slavery, betrayed by his employer, imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, forgotten for days without number.... These scenes paint the picture of Joseph’s early life. His life portrays the cost of discipleship: unwavering commitment, even in the face of injustice.

It’s unlikely any of us will be asked to pay such a price. But, we may be asked to sacrificially give of our time or resources to meet the needs of others we view as undeserving or unappreciative. We may be asked to teach when we would rather be taught. We may be asked to remain silent when we would rather shout. We will definitely be asked to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. This is the true cost of discipleship — to refute personal control of our life for Christ’s control. 

Yet, this life of discipleship isn’t without reward. Today’s Bible verse tells us the rest of the story: “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” We can read ahead in the book of Genesis and see how God blessed Joseph with position and power after Joseph relinquished his rights. He allowed himself to be used to write God’s story and not his own. Let’s look at Joseph’s life of denial and ask ourselves today: whose story are we writing, and what do we want the next chapter to declare?

Father, help me today when I struggle with putting my plans and purposes before Yours. Help me today to truly deny myself and live a life completely committed to writing Your story. Amen.

Take action

Examine your recent choices. Do they demonstrate a life submitted to Christ’s glory? If not, maybe today is a good day for you to begin writing the next chapter with His glory in mind.

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Tags: Heroes of Faith Genesis 41 discipleship