Today’s reading: Genesis 46:28–47:12

From the time Joseph was sold into slavery until he was reunited with his family in Egypt over 20 years later, his life was FILLED with trials and difficulty. In the moment, Joseph couldn’t see what God was doing. But when we reach Genesis 46 and 47, we can see clearly—and so could Joseph (in hindsight)—how God used every difficulty for Joseph’s and his families ultimate good.

Testing, trials, and difficulty are part of life. These tough situations and seasons serve to stretch, grow, train, and mature us. I absolutely know this, yet I still struggle with it because if I’m honest, I’d rather be given the easy road. But the truth is that if God had simply given me an easy road, I wouldn’t be where I’m at spiritually today. I can say without a doubt as I look back over my life that the most beneficial times of learning and growing were the direct result of periods of trial and affliction. I’m able to see clearly how God used those difficult times to move me out of certain situations (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) in order to provide me with an experience that I would need to help me or someone else in the future and to draw me closer to Him and deeper into His Word.

One example of God working for my ultimate good through a hard circumstance happened just a few years ago. My husband and I uprooted and moved across the country for my job. But within a year of that major event, we both found ourselves unemployed. Our situation didn’t make any sense to us. Both of us were confident that God had directed us to make this move. Yet almost immediately upon arriving in our new state and city, things didn’t go well. It was stressful, scary, and emotionally painful. All we could do was lean into God and His Word—and lean in we did for three years, until God moved us to a different location.

It took me over a year in our new location before I could look back and see the tremendous spiritual work God had done in my life during this season of difficulty. God had provided us with a wonderful church and a strong small group that supported and encouraged us through this hard season. He also orchestrated things so that I could head up a women’s Bible study group that was like no other group I’ve been a part of—women eager to gather together in close friendship, delve into God’s Word, and then support each other in prayer and through their actions each and every day between our meeting times.

Those three years (that I would have elected to skip over if given the choice in advance) were so beneficial and critical for me spiritually (and my husband too, by the way). As I write today, I am thankful for God’s faithfulness and how He used an extremely difficult season to draw me closer to Him and, in so doing, teach me His truth, reveal Himself more fully to me, and elevate my desire to serve Him.

How does seeing in hindsight that God used a trial for your overall good help you cope when you encounter another difficult situation? How has a past difficulty led to your spiritual growth? What impact has Joseph’s story had on your perspective about trials and hardships? Tami

Source: Tami’s Blog