We live in a culture that’s in search of real heroes. In fact, I’m not sure whether we know what a hero is anymore. We use the term very loosely. I think we live in a culture that has a lot of celebrities but very few heroes.
As historian Daniel J. Boorstin pointed out, “Celebrities are people who make news, but heroes are people who make history. Time makes heroes but dissolves celebrities.”
That is certainly what we have before us in the life of Joseph. He was a true hero, and he changed his world. There are a lot of things we can learn from Joseph, including how to overcome adversity.
In Joseph’s story, we discover how we can overcome envy, face adversity, resist sexual temptation, have faith in the promises of God, and forgive those who have horribly wronged us.
Joseph’s life showed very little promise. As the 12th of 13 children, he was a bit on the pampered side and given to visions of grandeur. But God gave him dreams. In the beginning, his dreams got him into trouble. In the end, however, other people’s dreams got him out of trouble.
If Joseph were alive today, his life verse would be Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT).
If anyone could have had an excuse for turning out badly, it was Joseph. He lived in a family dominated by lying, deceit, immorality, manipulation, and even murder. He could have blamed his parents for all the problems of his life.
Yet amazingly, Joseph turned out to be a very godly young man with a sterling character. And he changed the world because God changed his world first.