One evening when my son John came home from football practice, I noticed that his arms and hands had an unusual number of cuts and bruises on them. “What happened?” I asked.
“Have you ever noticed, Dad,” he replied, “that pain is optional but suffering isn’t? I wanted to be on the starting team so I knew it would take more effort on my part. I’ve been ‘playing’ and this is what it took.”
The Psalmist reminded us that Joseph was sold as a slave, and that “They bruised his feet with shackles and that his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true.”
Tucked away in the great plan that God has for each of us is our fair share of suffering. After Joseph was sold into slavery, he did not complain about his condition. He exceeded the horrible expectations that were placed on him. By honoring God the King honored him.
When he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he resisted her seductive behaviors. She did everything she could do to seduce him but through his dependence on God he did not give into his passions. And when she grabbed him physically he was able to escape through God’s strength. When she lied about him, he was thrown into prison. And rather than becoming bitter he became better. Because he was true to God he triumphed and eventually became the premier of Egypt. His path to power was through suffering and imprisonment. If we are true to God in our times of trial, we will be triumphant.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be faithful to You, knowing that temptation and suffering, is part of Your plan for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 105:17 and he sent a man before them— Joseph, sold as a slave.