WHEN THINGS FAIL, GOD DOES NOT
In the years of his youthfulness, Joseph is marked by great disaster and hopelessness. He experienced the death of his mother, received resentment, betrayal, and abandonment of his family, went through the humiliation of slavery, and received false accusation that led to imprisonment. Similar to his life, there are uncertain hardships that happen in this life (financial problems, tensions in relationships, failures in studies/work, etc.). The response and actions of family members or friends or personal errors may have adverse outcomes.
In fact, there are many events that are beyond our control. Considering Joseph’s response, however, we can see that depression or even suicide is never a solution to life problems. The right response to problems is to continue trusting God and doing what needs to be done for each moment of this life.
One great example in Joseph’s story is his persevering faith. In facing the temptation of his master’s wife, Joseph refused to compromise – although anybody else could just do it. He held fast his integrity and fear of God, and he was powerfully supported by God’s grace. Regardless of situations in life, true devotion to God is in our faithfulness to Him and His word.
Moreover, being sanctified by God, Joseph viewed his seemingly-ruined life as part of God’s perfect plan. He did not live in bitterness about his past life but in gratitude and in forgiveness of others, knowing that right from the beginning God is with him in Egypt. Indeed, God is with His children always until the end. Like Joseph, we must trust God, knowing that all the providences, which include afflictions, of God are for our spiritual and eternal good.
Begg, Alistair. The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstance. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2001.
Henry, Matthew. Commentary on the Whole Bible Vol. 4. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 2000.
Hindson, Ed. Courageous Faith: Lessons from the Old Testament Heroes. Tennessee: AMG Publishers, 2003.
Lawson, George. The Life of Joseph. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1972.