In Genesis chapter 45, we come to the end of a long and winding road. After all the years Joseph spent in slavery and in prison…after all those years his brothers ignored and forgot what they had done to him…after all those years his father grieved over him…Joseph finally reveals to his brothers that he is not only alive, but that he is in control of their fate. It’s in this chapter that Joseph and his brothers realize that God has had His hand in the whole process. Joseph was sold, but God was sending. Joseph was suffering, but God was saving.
It’s hard to concede that God would chose to work that way. We wonder why a “good” God would allow us to suffer in order to accomplish His purpose. Our bent toward comfort makes it easier to see God as One who should take away our suffering and bless us.
But God oversees all that takes place, and works in all things…even the bad things.
The problem is, we don’t always see God’s purpose or intent in suffering and struggles, until we’re much further down the road. In the beginning, all we can see is the inconvenience, the injustice, or the interruption of our plans. But in the end, we can look back and see that Romans 8:28 is really true.
This is often how God works. It’s how He worked with Joseph, it’s how he worked with Jesus, and it’s how he works with us. The key is to see past our circumstances to God’s providence, knowing that God will be faithful to work in our circumstance (Rom. 8:28) and complete His perfect plan for our lives. (Phil. 1:6)
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.