It’s easy to default to the “Why me” prayer. I’ve blogged about it before. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we lose our jobs, our loved ones, our health? The answer isn’t always clearly recognizable. It may take years to get an answer, like in the case of Joseph in Genesis.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and then spent time in prison after being falsely accused of propositioning his master’s wife. I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the worst feelings in the world is having someone accuse me of something I didn’t do. Let alone being put into prison for it with the fear of execution…
But scripture says after Joseph was taken into slavery, “When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes…” (Genesis 39: 3-4, NIV). Good things will happen if we live in a Godly way. Those things may not occur in the way we saw the path in our heads. We must be open to God’s design for our lives.
When Joseph was in prison, God was with him. For this verse, I prefer the English Standard Version translation of Genesis 39: 21: “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” How many people can recognize God’s steadfast love while in prison. Maybe not physical prison, but a figurative prison: depression, illness, grief, addiction, unhealthy relationships.
I’m not saying it’s easy to see God’s love in these circumstances. But, we’ll never find it if we don’t look and listen. Joseph persevered and with God’s help rose to great prominence in Egypt, ultimately saving the region from famine.When his brothers came to Egypt seeking grain during the famine, they did not recognize him. But when he finally revealed himself to them (after putting them through a series of tests which brought them their own anxieties) Joseph said “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5, ESV). Later, he says again “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20, NIV)
Wow. How’s that for accepting God’s plan? Joseph needed to become a slave and a prisoner in order to save the world, so to speak. Sounds like an Old Testament parallel of Jesus to me. What if Jesus had said “All these people are mean to me, I don’t want to do this anymore.” We’d still be waiting for our Savior. What if Joseph said “God forgot about me when my brothers turned on me.” Jacob’s line would’ve probably died from famine and there would be no lineage to Jesus.
How can we be more accepting and open to God’s plan in our lives? Are you at a point where you can look back at previous suffering and see how it brought you to a place where you can glorify God? Or, are you in the rough patch now? If you are, God is with you. Let him guide you through this rough patch so you can rise a stronger and more faithful servant.
This devotional corresponds with Chapter 3 of The Story. I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us in this faith journey. For more information visit: Read The Story with The Wellness Wife. You can also join our Facebook group, Read “The Story” with The Wellness Wife. Don’t be discouraged by the fact that we’ve already started. You can pick up anywhere and catch up at your leisure. Follow this link for all devotionals related to The Story.
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