Joseph was his father’s favored child. I’ve never been the favored son, but I have been the spoiled grandchild. I know what it feels like to bask in the favor of a grandparent and be given special attention. These exclusive favors are nice until it makes you the brunt of your sibling and cousin’s ire. Then things change, as they did for Joseph. His father made him a special long robe with sleeves and colors. His brothers noticed and hated him because he was his father’s favorite. Joseph’s dreams of one day ruling over them didn’t help. So they sold him. During the next 13 years, he would be imprisoned, exalted, accused of rape, imprisoned again, and betrayed by two fellow prisoners who promised to help him. Finally, his chance for deliverance came when he had the opportunity to interpret two of the king’s dreams. Seven years of plenty were on the horizon, but they would be hounded by seven years of famine.
Joseph…cleaned up and shaven, stood before the most powerful man in the land and said, Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses…That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. (Genesis 41:35-36 NLT)
When I was young, I viewed trials as things faced by older adults. Little did I realize I was facing them too…my parents were simply shielding me from the trial’s associated pain. But the day soon came when they no longer did…or could. Then I quickly discovered how often trials come and how essential it was to prepare ahead of time.
The best way to brace myself for life’s trials is to accept the fact that they’ll come. Satan often sends them—as he did into Joseph’s life, hoping he’ll destroy my faith in the process, but God can transform into good what he intends for evil. The years of plenty when I’m trial-free provide me with the opportunity to prepare myself spiritually for the years of famine when I’m trial-overrun.
Don’t wonder if trials will come; know they will. Let God prepare you to face them.
Prayer: Thank You Lord God for Your sustaining grace when we’re confronted with life’s trials.
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