The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did… Genesis 39:2
Joseph did not deserve what happened to him. He was minding his own business, obeying his dad, when sibling rivalry got out of hand. His own brothers ambushed him, stripped him, threw him into a well, and then sold him as a slave to a band of traveling salesmen. The rough, camelhair seat cushions on Joseph’s ride were the least of his troubles. Foreign traders. Foreign language. Weird customs. Weird religions. A slave’s future. We are told nothing about his trip from favored son to foreign slave, but the rest of the story implies that Joseph did not give way to hatred. He did not grow bitter or blame God.
When life explodes around us, we have a choice. We may not be in control of what is happening to us, but we have complete control of our responses to it. We can: 1) Grow bitter and blame God, 2) Deny that we are suffering, 3) Turn to addictions or immorality, or 4) Remain faithful to God in spite of it all. The fourth response is the one that catches God’s attention when He searches hearts and minds for those who are wholly His (2 Chron. 16:9). Sometimes it takes being stripped of everything we depend upon before the true condition of our hearts is known. God actively seeks those who will cling to Him, regardless of what is going on around us. When He finds us faithful, He promises to be with us and bless whatever He’s given us to do.
Which of those four options do you choose when life explodes around you?