Life Issues
God's Plan for Pain
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
May 21, 2019

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The view was not good from where Joseph lay. At the bottom of an empty well, he was probably feeling betrayed, hopeless, and alone. Joseph, the favored one of his father, had unwisely recounted a dream to his brothers in which they symbolically bowed down to him. Angered by his arrogance and envious of the favoritism their father showed him, the brothers threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery, and feigned his death.

After two tumultuous decades, it seemed that life was finally looking up. While in prison for a crime he did not commit, Joseph was able to interpret a favorable dream for the Pharaoh's cupbearer. Joseph's only request was for the cupbearer to mention him to Pharaoh. But the cupbearer forgot. Once again, it seemed that blessing had been ripped cruelly from Joseph's hands. When was God going to turn this thing around?

We may feel like our current season of life is a waste, but God wastes nothing.

Two years later, the cupbearer finally remembered Joseph. After over a decade of servitude, Joseph's moment of opportunity had finally arrived. He interpreted Pharaoh's dream of an approaching famine, and as a result, Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of Egypt to prepare the nation. God used a painful trial to bless Joseph and save an entire nation from disaster (see Genesis 41:56-57).

Even though we may be in a rush to see God's purposes fulfilled in our lives, He is not. We may feel like our current season of life is a waste, but God wastes nothing. God is certainly not the author of evil, but He is so gracious that He will transform dismal circumstances into opportunities for blessing. By the time Joseph was reunited with his brothers, he had realized this Truth: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).

Where are you standing in the timeline of Joseph's story? Whether you are hurting, waiting, or rejoicing, take some time to thank God for the things He has done and will do in your life. Ask God for the fresh perspective He gave to Joseph, and receive His peace and rest where there is turmoil in your life. Trust in Christ, and He will faithfully lead you through every spiritual mountain and valley.

Prayer: God, thank You for Your faithfulness to redeem painful events in my life. Thank You for protecting me and for fulfilling Your purposes in my life. I trust in You today. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).