Sunday, February 28, 2010

Suffering Transformed

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

We live in an often hostile world. We all experience suffering and disappointment, but God is in the business of using our difficulties and setbacks for our ultimate good.

Joseph dreamed he would be a leader, but after sharing his dream with his brothers, they seized Joseph and sold him into slavery. He was chosen to serve an Egyptian leader named Potiphar. Everything that Joseph touched prospered, because the Lord was with him. After serving faithfully in Potiphar's house, Potiphar's wife – who was enthralled with Joseph - tried to entice him and desired to sleep with the Hebrew slave, but he refused. The woman then accused Joseph of making sexual advances toward her, and Joseph was sentenced to prison.

Joseph remained in prison for some time, but God's hand was upon him even in that dark place. Joseph was entrusted with the charge of the prisoners. The keeper of the prison committed them into his hands.

Thirteen years lapsed since his brothers betrayed him, then Joseph was given the opportunity of a lifetime. He was asked to interpret Pharaoh's dream. God gave Joseph the dream's meaning. He explained to Pharaoh that Egypt would experience seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Joseph wisely determined that someone should be put in charge who would save grain during the years of abundance to be used during the time of scarcity. Pharaoh appointed Joseph as second in command of Egypt, and his God-given insight saved multitudes from starvation.

His brothers came to Egypt in search of food. Joseph met them and chose to forgive them. He viewed his suffering as part of God's overall plan. He said that you desired to do evil against me, but God meant it for good.

God transformed Joseph's suffering by His sovereign hand. And He works in our lives as well. When we place our pain and disappointments into the Father's hand, He eventually brings healing, victory, and promotion into our lives. As we stay faithful to God, He weaves His goodness into our lives and causes the days of darkness to be eclipsed by the sun.

We do experience pain in this life, but in the midst of our suffering, God is there. The Lord calls us to forgive our oppressors, and He eventually elevates us out of our hardships and causes us to shine for Him. His plan is to use us for His kingdom and for His glory. Let's choose faithfulness, let's embrace forgiveness, and let's offer all our emotional pain to Jesus. He loves us and He will transform our suffering into great glory. He will vindicate us and cause us to prevail.

Dear Sovereign Lord,

I worship You. I give to you my sorrows – the hurtful things I don't understand. I give you my pain and ask You to transform my suffering into victory. Lord, have your way in me. Help me to be faithful, and help me to forgive those that have harmed me. I entrust myself in Your care. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

© Copyright 2010 by Tom Toya. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment