Earlier this week, I was again reading the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis. Despite having read the passage on dozens of occasions, the story again gripped me. Having been born with a proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, Joseph was sold into slavery, prospered as head of a household, was slung into prison on trumped up charges and eventually became the P.M. of all Egypt. The advantage we have is that within the space of a couple of paragraphs the crisis passes. Yet for Joseph, each phase of suffering must have felt ‘forever’. As readers, we are able to step back and see the hand of God, preparing Joseph for a new season of life and opportunity. Yet, I am sure that at times, Joseph must have felt abandoned and that The Lord had forgotten the promises he had given.
Be encouraged then by the story and by the brilliant insight of the Apostle Paul as he writes to his friends in Rome; We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)
Yours and His, Gareth