Last week at Movement, I taught on the life of Joseph and his patience to “trust the process.” It is something that I have been really reflecting on this week as I decompress. If you don’t know the story, I will give you the quick version. (You can read it in Genesis 37.)
When Joseph was 17 years old, his 10 brothers sold him into slavery. This started a snowball effect of hardships as Joseph went on in his life. Hardship after hardship, Joseph persevered and trusted God. He believed that God had a plan through it all and continued to trust God. Joseph found favor in God’s eyes, and God blessed him by giving him many opportunities to grow and advance as a leader. Over 20 years later, Joseph becomes the governor of Egypt, and his brothers come to Egypt to purchase food to eat. They do not recognize Joseph but he recognizes them. He is given an opportunity to pay back his brothers for all they had done to him, but instead, he reveals himself to them and forgives them for the wrong they had done.
I had read this story many times growing up. It is a popular Bible story and has great teaching verses. But somehow I had overlooked the time gap between when he was sold and when he became the governor of Egypt. Over 20 years! Something I shared with the youth in my message was how Joseph never got a letter in the mail from God saying that there would be a payout. Joseph didn’t know what the purpose of his pain was. He didn’t even know if, in the end, it would even matter. That isn’t how God works, though.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”
God is working on our behalf, behind the scenes. We all have hardships and trials, and it may take a while for us to see the purpose of those, but we have to trust God in the process of it. We have to believe that God has a greater plan than ours, and He always will.