The Truth about Trials

Todd Stiles   -  

No one likes troubles or trials; yet, everyone has their share of them.  No one ever asks for them; still, they raise their ugly head. They are usually unexpected, often undeserved, yet not uncommon.

Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, was no exception to this rule. It seems like he went from the frying pan into the fire and back into the frying pan. Even a quick glance at Genesis reveals Joseph going from one trial to the next.

But, after a deeper look, we see that Joseph’s circumstances, though troubling, were all part of God’s plan. How can God use a ruined reputation, a crushed dream, a broken heart?  Let’s find out.

In Genesis 37 Joseph was faced with a dangerous situation: he was about to be killed by his brothers by being thrown into a waterless pit.  Would this be the end? Suddenly, all of his human security was gone.  His future, his health, and his life were at stake.

But Joseph’s trip to the pit simply gave God the opportunity to miraculously bring him out by providing a band of Ishmaelites to take him into Egypt. Truly, what we consider our insecurities, God considers His opportunities. Though Joseph had no idea where he was, God did. Remember, God’s plan has nothing to do with location, for God knows where we are even when we don’t.

In Genesis 39 we see Joseph faced with a damaging accusation: he was accused of rape. Although untrue, rumors spread and Joseph found himself counting the days behind bars. Although undeserved, Joseph accepted his punishment and said nothing.

How can God work through a ruined testimony?  Take heart—what man may say is not what God knows.  And God sees our integrity and character while man simply sees our supposed reputation. Remember, God’s plan has nothing to do with reputation.  He knows what we are even when others don’t.

Finally, in Genesis 41, the truth is revealed and the Egyptians realize Joseph was not a rapist, a coward, or a thief; rather, he was “discreet and wise in all things” (41:39). Joseph is rewarded with divine vindication.  Though Joseph was still grasping the reason for his trials, he knew God had them planned all along. Truly, the trouble that came to Joseph was used to position him for his higher and more nobler place of responsibility for the sake of God’s people. Remember, God’s plan has everything to do with preparation, and he knows what is ahead even when we don’t!

Perhaps you think you have taken a wrong turn; maybe you wonder if God really knows you’re alive.  You ask yourself, “Does God know about my unexpected trip to the hospital next week?  Did God hear about my father and his sudden battle with cancer?  Is God aware that my wayward child just left home and ran away?  Does God care that I seem lost, confused, hurt and broken?”

Yes, He sure does!  For He knows where you are even when you don’t; He knows what you are even when others don’t; and He knows what lies ahead before it ever arrives.

Be encouraged child of God. The Father’s plan for your life is not concerned with location or reputation, but rather with preparation. So don’t be too anxious to exit your sorrows; sit and learn in the school of hard knocks, for God is the master teacher, and he is fitting you with everything necessary to accomplish his designed will for your life.

Pastor Todd