Genesis chapters 37 and 39-50 tell the story of the life of Joseph.

Seventeen years after he had been brought into Egypt as a foreign slave, Joseph emerged in a position second only to that of the Pharaoh.  His story is an incredible illustration of how the providence of God works; here is a God who can take actions that are born of nothing but evil — like what the brothers did out of jealousy or what Potiphar’s wife did out of lust – and still work them around for good.  But Joseph’s story also illustrates another important truth — the difference gratitude can make when it comes to facing difficult situations.

 We have a choice in our experiences.  We are not free to determine what happens to us, but we are free to determine what response we will make to events.  One alternative is the way of gratitude; this involves asking, “What is there here to be thankful for?  How can I use this to build toward the future?”

This is the choice that is always ours.  The second alternative — gratitude.  Gratitude makes the difference between being a victim or a victor over events.  By learning to evaluate events from the perspective of gratitude rather than resentment, one gets the courage in the worst of times to keep on doing the best of things.

Of all the forces that enable one to meet the challenges of life, gratitude is the most potent.  Look at what this approach to life did for Joseph.  Think of what it can do for you.

Next time you are up against the difficulties of life, I challenge you:  Instead of asking, “Why has this happened to me?”  Ask rather, “What is there here to be thankful for?”

                                                                                                                                       By Tom Kelton

                                                                                         via “The Beam Of Light”
Fayetteville, AR


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