Genesis 45:4-9 4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]
8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.
I recently just finished re-reading Genesis. If you've read through parts of the Bible a long time ago but haven't gone back to them recently I'd encourage you to keep reading books that you've read in the past. It's amazing how truths and insights and facts seem to rise up out of the texts when before they went unnoticed. There's always something new to be discovered in Scripture, especially if you go about it with a seeking, eager and expectant heart.
Something struck me in regards to the story of Joseph, where his brothers who are jealous sold him into slavery. He ended up, after much trial and a couple of years of imprisonment, to be an advisor to the Pharoah and highly esteemed in the land. In fact, he was considered Pharoah's right hand man and made much of the decision making. Because of his insightful intepretation (Spirit-led no doubht) of Pharoah's dreams he was able to rescue Egypt from starvation during a horrible time of famine where nothing would grow in all of the land or surrounding lands. God had provided them with much time to store food during the years preceding the famine in which they would be spared and also be able to trade and sell such food to other nations desperately seeking sustenance. Eventually this was how Joseph was to be reunited with his brothers, for they came to Egypt seeking food.
When he was reunited with his brothers I can only imagine what his brothers were thinking. If I was one of them I would have been ready to nearly pass out or lose my faculties. I mean, here is a brother that I had betrayed and figured dead already, ruling the only great land that possessed food for my people to eat. Not only that, Joseph had become very powerful, Pharaoh had given him limitless control and discretion. Joseph could have easily reached out in wrath and condemnation and thrown his brothers in prison, or just slaughtered them there as they stood. But he didn't. He was a man of God and he saw a complicated web of occurrences, orchestrated by the great conductor himself, and a purpose for all of his hardships that had occurred. He saw God in his circumstances and reached out to those who had wounded and betrayed him with compassion and love.
So that makes me wonder, do we see God in our circumstances? Do we have the unfailing trust and resolve and endurance that Joseph showed? With steadfast love and faith in God do we stick through even the roughest trials of our lives knowing that God has his reasons and if we only endure He will see us through in the end?...
Important questions to ask...
Sometimes, in the trials and agony of life (like losing a loved one or being wounded ourselves), it can seem like God has abandoned us. Here are some encouraging verses to keep in mind:
Jeremiah 29:1111 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
There are plenty of others. Do you have a verse that helps you remember God's sovereignty during difficult times and helps encourage you? Please share it with us! :)