Joseph had it rough; some could even argue that he had it worse than Job. Job’s dismal circumstances were the direct result of Satan’s attacks, but Joseph was betrayed by his family and close relations. God had blessed Joseph with favor and the promise of success only to seemingly strip him of everything and undeservedly sentence him to two years in prison. He had every right to be bitter–justice had been violated–,and he had reason to be discontent–God’s promises to him were unfulfilled.
As I was recently preparing lesson plans about Joseph’s life for my children’s evangelism class, I re-watched The Ballad of Little Joe, the VeggieTales country-western movie about Joseph’s life. Read what Little Joe prays while he is in jail:
Hey, God. Little Joe here.Not to complain or anything, but what’s going on? I tell people what their dreams mean, and they always come true. But you gave me a dream a long time ago, and I’m in jail. And I didn’t even do anything!I’m trying to do what’s right, but I’m a little confused.Well, please be with Pa, and baby Benjamin, and most of my brothers…okay…and Jude, too.Goodnight, God.
Can you ever identify with Joe? Despite doing exactly what you think you should, everything seems to be working against you. I cannot claim to know exactly what God is doing, but I can assure you that He is working all things together for good–for your sanctification (Romans 8:28-29).
Rest assured with this verse from the end of Joseph’s story:
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to preserve many people alive.-Genesis 50:20
When life gets rough, remember that we can only see the present circumstances. God is addressing all of eternity.