“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.” -Genesis 37:3–4
One theologian once wrote, "If God had told me some time ago that He was about to make me as happy as I could be in this world, and then had told me that He should begin by crippling me in arm or limb, and removing me from all my usual sources of enjoyment, I should have thought it a very strange mode of accomplishing his purpose. And yet, how is His wisdom manifest even in this! For if you should see a man shut up in a closed room, idolizing a set of lamps and rejoicing in their light, and you wished to make him truly happy, you would begin by blowing out all his lamps, and then throwing open the shutter to let in the light of heaven."
Everyone goes through times of crisis in their lifetime. Sometimes it is a major crisis, or maybe it’s two or three in a row. But it seems as if every one of us will have unplanned difficulties along our journey of faith.
Joseph faced these same crises in his life. I don’t think Joseph ever dreamed his own brothers would betray him. I’m sure he never thought he would spend time in a dirty Egyptian prison. No one plans for such difficulty, yet it seems as if everyone faces these times in their lives.
Joseph was a man who suffered greatly but who was faithful to God throughout his entire life. Another man in the Bible like Joseph was Paul. The Apostle Paul was a great man of God who ended his life well for God. Second Timothy 4:6–7 says, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” What a great testimony! When going through a trial, your goal should be to learn what God desires to teach you and to be faithful to God through it all.
Imagine if God had approached Joseph beforehand and had said, “Joseph, I am going to use you one day to save my people from starvation during a great famine. But first, I am going to take you through some trials. You will be hated by your brothers; you will be sold into slavery; you will be accused of something you didn’t do; you will spend time in prison; and you will have to struggle to regain your reputation.” What do you think Joseph’s reaction would have been? What would your reaction have been?
God has a great plan for your life. But realize that plan may require a time of struggle first. There will be times of difficulty and growth. But trust that God knows what is coming at the end of your trial. He knows the outcome and the blessings He is going to bring into your life.
Are you in a time of trial? Is there some difficulty or struggle you are enduring? Realize that while trials may come and earthly solutions will fail, God intends for you to grow stronger in faith through it all. He desires that your testimony will shine brighter because of the difficulty you endured. Submit your will to His and trust Him, for He knows the ending!