Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (KJV). Living in this big world, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the circumstances in which we find ourselves. During those difficult times it would serve us well to take comfort in the Scriptures, especially if it seems God is nowhere to be found. As we will see, God works behind the scenes, even in the bleakest points of life. Maybe at this very moment, you may be going through the stuff, and need to know God is at work in your life. Have you considered Joseph?
Genesis 45:3-5 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life (KJV).
In Genesis 37, Joseph’s brothers sold him to some Ishmaelites who in turn sold him to an Egyptian named Potiphar. This came after Joseph’s dreams that revealed he would rule over his brothers. This life event looks so opposite of what God showed Joseph. It gets better; Potiphar’s wife falsely accuses Joseph of attacking her, which led to his imprisonment. Nevertheless, God was with Joseph the entire time. In fact, Potiphar’s household was blessed for Joseph’s sake (see Genesis 39:5). While in prison he found favor in sight of the keeper of the prison, who in turn put all the prisoners under his charge (see Genesis 39:21-23). While there are more details leading up to Genesis 45, God used these events in His overall plan to save Israel from famine. Joseph told his brothers, “For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:6-8 (KJV).
Clearly, natural reason is at odds with God’s plans. As we study the Word, we often find that those things that do not add up intellectually are the very things necessary to propel God’s people to the fulfillment of His promises. It did not look very good to see Jesus on the Cross, but it was necessary in order for us to have a relationship with God. There are a few things to keep in mind, especially in a crises moment. The first is trust in the Lord, do not rely on your own reasoning (see Proverbs 3:4-7), and trust Him with the results. We do not always have to know what He is up to, nor do we have to have all the answers. We simply need to trust the One Who holds the ending from the beginning.
Here are some parting thoughts in relation to some lessons we can take away from Joseph’s history. After all that Joseph endured, Pharaoh gave Israel the best land Egypt had to offer (see Genesis 47:6). What does that mean to us? The best things are yet to come. Sometimes, we need to remember that we are not home yet. While the Lord uses extreme situations to bring us to better things in life, which goes beyond the material realm, the best things are on the other side of eternity. Everything we endure while on earth has a shelf life. It will eventually all pass away. In the mean time, take comfort in what Joseph also said to his brothers who became afraid after their father, Jacob died: “Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones” (Genesis 50:19-21, KJV). God was even in the events for his brothers’ sake, which did him evil. If you will wait on the Lord, you will find that He is in your events as well. You may not see it now, but you will! Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (KJV).