Have you ever felt like you were just existing in your faith?
- Betrayed by his brothers & sold to slave traders at the age of 17
- Spent 11 years in Potiphar’s house and then 2 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit: Potiphar’s wife’s accusation that he had tried to violate her was believed
- While in prison, he interpreted the Pharoah’s chief cupbearer and chief baker’s dreams. And although Joseph urged the chief cupbearer to not forget him in prison, Genesis 40 ends:
The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
Joseph could describe his first 30 years of life with:
- Ganged up against
- Cruelly betrayed by his brothers
- Abandoned by his family and friends
- Recipient of the short end of the stick
- Receiver of circumstances that led to lost opportunities
- Wrongfully accused
Which of those descriptors fit your life?
You know better than I; You know the way.
I’ve let go the need to know why, for You know better than I
It is both an epiphany and a point of acceptance that Father is ever bringing us to in our valleys of existing.
There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. – Hosea 2:15
The second son he named Ephraim (twice fruitful) and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” – Gen 41:52
In our valleys of existing, we always have a choice:
- To exist in bitterness, short-sightedness, despair, fear, and regret
- To accept our portion and our cup (Ps 16:5), and participate with Father in both the hope and the fruit that He has planned to bring forth from both our valleys of trouble and our lands of suffering
In our love of quoting Romans 8:28, we often forget verse 29:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…
We’ve been called according to His purpose.
And one of His greatest purposes in our lives is to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered – Heb 5:8
Joseph became overseer to Pharaoh at the age of 30.
He saved not only his family but all of Egypt from perishing in a 7 year-long famine.
His reflection to his brothers when they asked his forgiveness for selling him to slave traders as a 17-year-old:
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. – Gen 50:20
Your existing . . . but God intended it for good.
Hang in there. Be a blessing. Be fruitful in the land of your suffering.
Photo on Flickr by xtnsgo