I love Joseph’s story.
Starting in Genesis chapter 35, it follows the story of someone for whom everything seemed to go wrong. Sold into slavery by his own brothers, accused of a crime he didn’t commit, then thrown in jail for years, poor Joseph’s life seemed like a mess. In the end, however, God used Joseph’s trials to save a nation and reunite a family.
It’s such a motivational and inspiring story, and it can be used to teach so many things. Forgiveness, God’s tendency to turn bad into good, in fact, it’s even something of a mirror of Christ’s story. However, today I’m going to focus on another aspect of Joseph’s story.
– for tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that –
Specifically, finding hope in the big picture. As I mentioned, reading Joseph’s story and knowing the end makes it quite enjoyable. But what would it have been like to live that story and not know the end? Take a minute to imagine that.
That’s what it was like for Joseph. Days of grueling work, feeling forsaken and betrayed and alone. Joseph didn’t know he was going to be used to save thousands of people from starving and be reunited with his family. When he was first sold into slavery, all he would have known was that his life would, for the foreseeable future, consist of working as a slave.
In some ways, this is similar to our situation. Not the sold into slavery part, but being stuck in the middle of disaster. Many times, along the trying journey that is life, we find ourselves stuck with our lives crashing around us. In those times, the world seems dark and hopeless. We don’t know what will happen, and all the possibilities seem dark.
Fix Your Eyes Upon The Cross
When those dark times come, however, we must remember Joseph’s story. His life was, for years, a complete mess. Yet he never stopped trusting God. Through the tough times and the good times, he knew that God was in control and had a plan for him.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29: 11
God has an overall plan, a wonderful, incredible plan for each of us. That doesn’t mean things will be easy. Not once in the Bible does God say ‘Because you are my children I will make life super easy for you.’ No, instead he says something much better. ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ he says. ‘Plans to give you a hope and a future.’
Hard times are just a natural part of that. Like a piece of metal, we can be forged into something beautiful unless we first go through the fire.
So when the trials, the pain, and the loneliness come, remember what God has said. Turn to his word, fix your eyes upon the cross, and draw hope from his loving kindness.
Until next time,