Listening to Graham Cooke’s really funny but incredible powerful teaching on “Why Wounded and Betrayed Believers are so Valuable to God” (available at grahamcooke.com and on Twitter #grahamcooke and via youtube.com) brings me such joy. Graham takes us through Genesis 37-50 and speaks of Joseph’s life experiences – he is sold into slavery, suffers under Potiphar, his wife and at the hands of the King’s servants and slaves, to emerge as the King’s right hand man! Our woundedness, like Joseph in this powerful and rewarding teaching, so that we take God’s perspective on it.
What could be worse than hearing from God, then ending up in slavery days later? This is only the beginning of Joseph’s struggles. A brotherly prank goes too far and Joseph soon finds himself stripped of his lovely technicolor coat, family, comforts, security and all things familiar. I imagine Joseph must have asked where his father thought he was, trying to understand why his father had not gone looking for him. The loneliness, betrayal and distance from his people totally unbearable.
Our troubles have a purpose. They shape our characters, our reactions and responses. Trouble matures us like fine wine. Olives must be pressed to extract their oil. Grapes are crushed to release the juice to make wine. Believers are made weak to grow strong, to mature and to live in obedience. Joseph’s journey, yours and mine all have a purpose. If we choose God’s will, then He wills it! Our pain hurts God but He sees the end from the beginning and it is all about His purpose. God’s grace sufficient. We must build on our relationship with Him, learn and understand His will and His ways. His grace brought Joseph and every Bible Gret to a triumphant end, through pain and difficulty. God is good. We can trust Him. God is faithful to the end. He wants the very best for you and I. So what will your choice be? Why?