There is a popular phrase we use in our culture within our city which is; ‘it shall end in praise’. It begs to wonder then why the end, why not praise from the beginning or in the middle or why not as we go? So are we waiting for the end; for the manifestation of our dreams before we praise God? Is this what God wants us to do and if we are waiting for the end when exactly is the end? However, we are admonished that in everything we should give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us; 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
The summary of an interesting story of the progression towards the fulfilment of Joseph’s dream can be seen in our text. From the summary, can we be curious to know at what point Joseph began to be grateful for his life’s journey? The details of his life’s journey to help our gratefulness and rejoicing towards God can be seen in Genesis 37-48. The different stages of his experience are all recorded. Through all the trying situations he went through, could it have been possible for him to be grateful? At what point did he begin to be grateful? Or was he waiting for the end because as our commonly used cliché goes, it shall end in praise? Joseph was thrown in a pit by his brothers and he possibly was thinking, these fellows are going to kill me today because he would have overheard their conversations about killing him. Hence, when one of his brothers said let’s sell him to this slave traders, could you imagine how he would have felt? Most likely grateful, knowing at least that he wasn’t going to die. Let’s learn to exude gratitude on the way to where we’re going.
Similarly, Job had a tough and trying life journey not knowing that his life was used as an experiment between God and satan even when he was faithful and loyal to God. God was boasting about Job and the devil challenged that Job was as faithful as he was because God had surrounded Him with the good things of life and if God allowed the devil to tamper with a few things regarding Job’s life, Job would curse God to His face. This was a challenge thrown at God and what would have been God’s response if not to take up the challenge because not agreeing may present God as partial and that He is not sure of Job. Job suffered a lot even to the point that his wife advised that he should curse God and die. However, please this shouldn’t be used as women are the enemies because that was just the level of his wife’s faith or strength. Job’s response was though He slays me, I will praise Him because he had a limited understanding of the situation and thought it was God that was dealing with him. Job was confused by the situation but in everything, he didn’t turn back from following God. If he could go through all that with the limited understanding he had of the situation and still be grateful, how much more us who understand better and our circumstances apparently not as bad.
Be grateful for your journey, be grateful for where you are, and be grateful that you are alive and well. Being alive gives hope that you’ll see the manifestation of your dreams. That circumstance is not the end of you. The circumstances of Joseph’s life were not the end of him even though some may have appeared as the end; instead of death by his brothers, he was sold as a slave and for this, he must have been grateful. From the slave traders, he became Potiphar’s servant, the head of all the domestic workers and don’t you think he must have praised God for that? What if he had stayed bemoaning his condition and remembering his coat of many colours, his attitude would be one full of complaints and it wouldn’t look like God was with him and Potiphar wouldn’t see nor acknowledge that God was with Him. Potiphar saw something special about him. He was lied on in Potiphar’s house and went to prison yet; he still kept a good attitude helping the warders and other prisoners and was made the leader in the prison. Ultimately, one day he was sent for by Pharaoh. Joseph must have been grateful for the journey all the way to the end.
Gratitude is a very important attitude that precedes everything. Be grateful even if it appears that your outcome is not commensurate to your input; still be grateful that you still have the strength to make those inputs. Be grateful that you wake up every day because we do not have the power to wake ourselves up. Be grateful for your journey. People may even wonder what you are rejoicing about because there may be no obvious cause for celebration on the outside for them to see but you are aware of what they can’t see. When we think deeply and realize the love of God for us, we then should be grateful; we should be grateful when it dawns on us that we are not taxed for the air we breathe. Our journey will all make sense in the end but don’t wait for it to make sense in the end before you begin to be grateful. While we wait for God’s manifestation, we wait in joy.