The story of Joseph is a hard one to read. It seems he just couldn’t catch a break. Author A.W. Tozer once said, ‘It is doubtful that God ever used anybody greatly without first hurting him deeply”, and Joseph knew this firsthand. But even through his lowest of lows and highest of highs, Joseph knew one thing. That it was the hand of God working in all things to bring about His will.
With all of the trials that he faced, it would have been easy for Joseph to get stuck in self pity and discouragement. He could have turned away from God, blaming Him for his misfortunes. And Joseph could have used his power and authority to take vengeance against his brothers for their brutal betrayal.
But he didn’t. Instead Joseph humbled himself before the Lord and submitted to His will. He held on to the truth that God is always in control. And most of all, Joseph trusted Romans 8:28. “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
When tough times have come into my life, too often my first response has been anger or to question God and cry out, “Why me?” I have tried to rely on my own abilities to control or change the situation. When instead I should be like Joseph, riding out the storm and content in trusting God’s perfect plans and timing. Pridefully I’ve tried in vain to follow my own path instead of the path God has laid out for me.
During those times when I feel the pull of a “woe is me attitude”, I remember the strength of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He willingly faced endless adversity and endured unmeasurable suffering to fulfill the plans of God. And because of His sacrifice, we are saved.
Although I might not understand God’s reasons for the tribulations in my life, God knows. And that’s enough for me. What I do know is that He loves me, always has my best interests at heart, and wants me to cast all of my anxiety onto Him. (1Peter 5:7).
At the time of his troubles, Joseph didn’t yet know the great things God was going to accomplish through him. And when we are knee deep in our troubles we might not see the great things God wants to accomplish through us too. No matter the difficulty, even if as in Joseph’s case it’s the wickedness of others, God is there.
I love how the iworship Bible says, “He’s watching. Working. Writing a masterpiece.” And in writing this masterpiece, God may use our suffering to result in not only a great blessing for ourselves, but for others as well. For just as Joseph declares to the brothers who treated him with treachery, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Gen. 50:20)
No matter what you are going through right now, remember that He has a purpose and a plan. God loves you more than you can ever know, so trust Him. He will will keep you safe in His hands, and there are no better hands to be in!