When Joseph’s brothers begged for mercy, he responded in the most unexpected way. Instead of lashing out and giving his brothers what they deserved, he stated that it was God’s will for him to be a slave.
Joseph rose up, served well, and found favor among his slave masters, instead of wasting away in bitterness and anger. When his brothers finally sought His forgiveness, he could honestly say, “God meant it for good,” (“it,” being slavery and separation from his parents) because a famine that would have devastated Egypt and the land of Canaan was held at bay due to the wisdom and opportunity God gave Joseph. But that opportunity came after Joseph’s brothers betrayed him and sold him into slavery.
From terrible deeds and humble beginnings, sprang forth a fruit (literally) that saved thousands upon thousands of lives.
Often, it seems, God has brought my thoughts to dwell upon the story of Joseph for many reasons. But only recently have I deeply considered Joseph’s final perspective.
After he rose from slavery to be a ruler, second only to Pharoah, and his brothers bowed down to him, then he realized God’s sovereign plan and how He was sovereign even when Joseph was suffering. No doubt, in the midst of his sufferings, he was bitter and angry, but it seems that bitterness did not keep him from serving well. It took time and patience, but Joseph finally saw how God could take a terrible thing and use it for His glory and for Joseph’s benefit.
In some stories, the hero never sees God’s perfect plan, and they are never granted God’s perspective. But they are the hero, because they kept the faith in spite of what their eyes could, or could not, see.
Through Joseph’s story, my eyes have been opened to see life from God’s perspective; through the lens of faith.
Through every trial and blessing that comes my way, I want to be able to say, “You mean evil against me, but God means this for good. You desire only evil for me, but God will crush you with His heel and replace evil with good.” I don’t know how my Abba will do it, and I don’t know when, I only know that He is sovereign and He will be glorified; just like in the story of Joseph.
Whether or not Joseph could have praised God while in the midst of suffering is of little consequence to me, because I have been granted the ability to see the bigger picture; all of God’s Holy Word is meant to make me step back and gain a Heavenly perspective. I can choose, right here and now, to praise and trust my Heavenly Father. Yes, this world will hurt me, beat me down, and try to defeat me, but I don’t have to be defined by hurt, scars, or the battles lost. I have the chance to cling to the One Who took my scars upon Himself. And I am humbled and so grateful to be able to say that I am an heir to His ultimate victory over evil and death; Jesus is my Savior.
Against all expectations, Jesus stepped down from His Heavenly throne and laid down His life for those who hated Him. Though Satan intended Jesus’ death for evil, yet Jesus rose from the grave and now offers that same life to all those who call upon His name. No king, ruler, or Pharaoh could keep Jesus in the grave; He reigns in victory.
This is the perspective that I have been granted, the big picture: Jesus wins, and by His grace, so do I. Amen.
When you read the title of this post, you may have thought, “It is easy to say, ‘God meant it for good,’ when ‘it’ is in the past tense.” But the whole point of this post is to proclaim that today’s struggles and hardships are already past tense with God. He does not worry about our future, and Heaven is not moving from its place. There is no one and nothing on this earth that can defeat us when we have Jesus in our heart and by our side. It is like Jesus said:
Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father knowing. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:28-31
It is natural to weep and mourn in times of trial and hardships, but do not curse God in that day. He is the only One Who saves and He is always faithfully working in the lives of those who love and fear Him. You may not like His timing and it is normal to have no idea what He’s doing, but you can trust that He loves you and that Satan’s victory is short-lived. Death cannot claim God’s holy ones, so even fear of death is cast out when faith stands up.
God is in the business of transforming sinners into saints, and since He can transform sinners into saints, we can trust that He will also transform sorrow into joy and pain into strength.
I hope you will take this step of faith with me today and gain a Heavenly perspective.
Whatever you face, God is still sovereign and faithful.
Trust Him. Serve Him well. Wait to see His glory be revealed, and let Him shine through you in the waiting.
Your Sister in Christ,