“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Do you know the story of Joseph? The Old Testament Joseph? Chances are if you’ve ever been to Sunday school, you’ve heard the story about how he was sold into slavery by his very own brothers. You might have even made a craft involving a brightly colored robe.
The coat of many colors is definitely important, but there’s much more to learn from this story. Joseph faces some pretty rough circumstances. . . . His brothers hate him so much they want to kill him. He gets sold as a slave and taken far from his home. While there, he gets accused of something he didn’t do, and he spends many years in prison because of this false accusation. If anyone had reason for bitterness and anger towards God, Joseph did.
Amazingly, we don’t read that he was angry or bitter. Genesis says that God was with Joseph during those difficult times. He gave Joseph the ability to put one foot in front of the other each day and to make the most of the horrible things that were happening to him.
God never left him and always provided what Joseph needed. The hard things in Joseph’s life brought help to God’s people. Joseph gives testimony to God’s sovereign plan and purpose when he says to his brothers who had once hated and mistreated him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
We may not get to see the good that God brings from the pain in our lives, but we can pray that he would give us hearts that lean on him, trusting that he always works to bring beauty out of brokenness. We see this illustrated through Jesus’ life.
Jesus faced many people who were against him, who called him names, and who wanted the worst for him. He faced the pain of death for our sake. Through Jesus’ suffering, God provided for us. The agonizing circumstances that he experienced allowed us to know him and to receive a life that never ends.
For Further Reading: Genesis 50:20, Jeremiah 29:11