Most (if not all) of us long to be successful and significant. In Genesis 39 you will find the story of Joseph, who is called a successful man. He prospers in all that he does. He is consistently elevated to “management.” (39:2-6, 8, 22-23). God blesses those who are associated with him.
The key to Joseph’s success is simple. It is mentioned at both the beginning and end of the chapter — “the Lord was with Joseph.” (39:2,21).
What is interesting about Joseph’s success is his situation. If you are unfamiliar with the story, Joseph has been sold into slavery by his brothers. This successful man is a slave in Potiphar’s house. He will eventually be thrown in prison on false charges of attempted rape (because he refused Potiphar’s wife’s advances). Most of us would not think of this as a situation of success. Nor would we naturally conclude that the Lord was with us. Yet, that is what the Bible says.
What lessons can we learn from this? First, our definition of success is frequently wrong. Second, success is not dependent on our cirucmstances, but our faithfulness. Most importantly, success is a result of God’s presence in our lives.