When Things Can't Get Any Worse

Before his brothers threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery, Joseph felt his brothers jealously towards him due to their father's favoritism of him. However, when his brothers sold him into slavery, I believe even Joseph was taken by surprise.

  Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng
In an instant, Joseph's life changed dramatically.
  • Joseph was betrayed and forsaken by his brothers
  • He was sold into slavery and sent away from his parents who loved him, and from the life he had come to know.

Things couldn't possibly be any worse. Yet, in the days to come when Joseph was working for his Egyptian master Potiphar, Joseph could not imagine how things could possibly get worse. But they did.  When Potiphar's wife threw herself at Joseph, and he refused to give in to her advances, Potiphar's wife falsely accused Joseph of raping her, and Joseph was immediately sent to prison. 

While in prison, Joseph interpreted the dreams of a cupbearer and baker who were in prison with him. When Pharaoh summoned the cupbearer, Joseph asked him to please tell Pharaoh about him, for Joseph had a gift for interpreting dreams. Unfortunately, the cupbearer forgot about Joseph and Joseph would remain in prison for two more years. Things had gone from bad to worse.

What’s amazing about Joseph’s story is not all the hardships he faced, but his response when faced with those hardships. Fast forward to the seven year famine, Joseph had been brought out of prison, to help Pharaoh prepare for the impending famine. When God reunited Joseph with his brothers, who came to Egypt to buy grain, they were afraid  Joseph would seek revenge for their evil toward him. Yet, despite the most horrible of circumstances they put Joseph through; he replied "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Genesis 50:19-21) 
As Robert Murray McCheyne has said, “Affliction brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine.” 
 
While we will never probably experience a situation like Joseph’s, when we experience devastating circumstances of our own we can rest in the truth that God’s reasons for allowing any hardship in our life is only for good. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Afflictions are never easy or fun, but when we are in the place of affliction, at least we can count on God to work our horrible situation to good, wasting no part of our pain and suffering. Though we grieve, we can rest in the promise that our affliction is
working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17 and somehow, someway, God will restore us and bring incredible good out of our situation in ways we could never imagine.

For help in dealing with trials, I recommend Kay Arthur's great book, When the Hurt Runs Deep: Healing and Hope for Life's Desperate Moments. It is ideal for anyone discouraged by their trials. The Lord bless you!


Question for you: When has God worked a trial of yours to good? I'd love to hear any praise reports you'd like to share.



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30 comments:

  1. So much to think about but everything God does is for our good. It's hard to realize that at times. Great post with a lot to ponder :)

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen! I love that "everything God does is for our good." That is one of my favorite promises!(Rom. 8:28)I agree it's hard to recognize the good in a trial sometimes, but when I've come through a trial, looking back, I can see how God was working my circumstances to good, though it was difficult to see that while in the trial. This is what I love about keeping a faithfulness journal--recording those hard times and how God worked them to good, so when I'm in a new trial I can look back and be encouraged by God's faithfulness in my past trials. It's hard to remember those times when I'm in the trial, so I need to just write them down while they are fresh in my mind so I have them later to comfort and encourage me in future hard times. God bless you richly!

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  2. I love that Joseph, a man who went through untold terrifying events, spoke to his brothers, "Don't be afraid." This is such a fabulous story of who WE can be if we trust HIM!
    I'm your neighbor at Intentional.Me today! Thanks for posting this...so much to ponder!
    Blessings to you ~ Mary

    www.marywomantowoman.blogspot.com

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    1. Great observations, Mary! Thank you so much for sharing! God bless you lots!

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  3. Yes. always interesting the path God takes us on. He didn't just hand Joseph the keys to a kingdom~he took through a path of betrayal, trial, prison, and then raised him up to a position of leadership. Joseph had much to learn along the way as do we. Such a great reminder to follow the whole story and not just look at the super great ending! :)

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    1. Thanks, Lori! So glad this blessed you! It's so encouraging to know when we are going through a trial, God has a good purpose for it. It's all leading up to a greater good. God bless you mightily!

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  4. I wonder what would happen if our lives did change that dramatically would we be as strong and rely on our God?

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    1. Good question, Angie! I'm comforted to know that God is daily equipping and preparing us to successfully handle future trials--so when they come we will rightly respond--running to Jesus in prayer, resting in His promises, and remembering God's past faithfulness to provide for us and deliver us. I think the way to know if we'd be as strong and rely on our God is to examine our relationship with Christ. If we have a strong prayer life, are daily in the Word, etc. then those disciplines will be natural in times of crisis. But if we don't do those things now, in our day to day life, we'd be hard pressed to begin such disciplines when in especially hard times. Joseph's strong relationship with God before his ordeal began is what kept him strong and connected to God throughout his years of hardship. God bless you abundantly!

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  5. Good reminder to me here. I know this, but need reminding. And now I think I'll take a peek at Kay Arthur's book! Thanks.

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    1. Thanks, Sylvia! So glad this blessed you! You'll enjoy Kay Arthur's book. Here's a review I wrote on it http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/2011/02/hope-for-when-hurt-runs-deep.html God bless you richly!

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  6. I love Joseph's story. Thank you for the reminder that God does indeed bring good from our trials. Visiting from the Weekend Whatever Linkup. Have a great day :)

    Shandy @ aprons-n-pearls.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Shandy! So happy this blessed you! God bless you mightily!

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  7. It is difficult to remember that bad times happen for a reason, especially when we are going through them. Thank you for this reminder of Joseph and how he turned things around with God's help and mercy.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! I agree, "It is difficult to remember that bad times happen for a reason, especially when we are going through them." Even if I can't see the reason for my trial, I can rejoice in the promises that God is not withholding good from me, He's working every circumstance to good, and He will eventually deliver me from whatever trial I'm facing. Here's a post I wrote that goes more into detail on those encouraging promises http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/2012/01/why-is-god-allowing-this.html These are my go-to verses when I fail to see the good reason, or any good within a trial. They never cease to comfort and encourage me. God bless you richly!

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  8. Beautifully written that gave me a lot to think about. I would love for you to come share these on my weekly link up that just went live for the week. http://countrifiedhicks.blogspot.com/2013/02/mondays-with-countrified-hicks-4.html

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    1. Thanks for your sweet words. Will do! God bless you mightily!

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  9. Hi I am a new follower to your lovely blog (Via GFC)and it really feel pleasure meeting new awesome bloggers like you. Found you through Monday meet up.

    my blog: www.wilsontom.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much! I look forward to visiting your blog, too. God bless you lots!

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  10. Thank you for recomending this book! I love reading new books. It sounds like one I could relate to. Visiting from the CEO blog hop.

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    1. My pleasure, Tanya. I love books that make me better off after I've read them--and this is one of those books. God bless you richly!

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  11. Hi enjoyed the read. I do not know what my life would be with God and Roman 8:28, I stand on His promises daily. Knowing that right now is not the end result. Visiting from CEO blog hop. Thank you for your encouraging words.
    http://fitandbeyond40.com

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    1. Thanks, Margaret! I love how you said it, "I do not know what my life would be with God and Roman 8:28, I stand on His promises daily." Amen! We are so blessed to have God and His Word in our life. God bless you abundantly!

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  12. I love the story of Joseph. I'm always learning from his ability to deal with adversity and injustice.

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    1. Me too, Gail! His story is so powerful. What a great example Joseph is to the rest of us when we are afflicted with injustice. Fortunately, even if we are faced with injustice, we can rejoice in God's promise to right those wrongs. I wrote a post about here http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/2012/06/psalm-103-memory-challenge-god-will.html God bless you much!

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  13. HI,
    Linking in from Hip Homeschool Hop. Every time I read this story I am reminded that it is God's planning not mine. I love: What’s amazing about Joseph’s story is not all the hardships he faced, but his response when faced with those hardships.

    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. Thanks, Janis! I agree, "it's God's planning" and we can rest in the truth that His plans for us are for good, not for harm, to give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) God bless you lots!

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  14. Hi, I popped in from the homeschool and hop and have to say - Oh yes! I love both the story of Joseph AND Kay Arthur's book on pain and suffering. Thank you for sharing both of these excellent encouragements.

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    1. Thanks, Kaye! Yes, both are powerful tools to help us in our times of adversity and injustice. God bless you richly!

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  15. I had multiple misscarriages and now have 2 beautiful boys! Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday. Sincerely,
    Monica
    http://happyandblessedhome.com

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    1. Monica what a beautiful testimony of God's faithfulness to restore, deliver, and provide over and beyond what we can think or imagine. Rejoicing with you! God bless you abundantly!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!