Have you ever faced a trial that seemed like too much to bear? Whenever this happens to me God reminds me of the story of Joseph. I remember all he had to endure to get to the place that God wanted him to be (Genesis 37). Joseph was able to handle the trials he faced because God was with him. In the same way, if we stand close to God and set our hearts and minds on Him we will be able to endure the trials we face. Despite the peace that comes from this realization, I often find myself asking God why. Why do I have to endure these trials? Why can’t God just get me where he wants me trial free? I’m sure you often wonder the same thing.
So why does God allow us to face trials? Trials that are often painful and seemingly unbearable. James 1:2-4 (NKJV) says, “my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Facing trials grows our faith and produces patience, helping us to become capable of becoming who God intended us to be. If we truly believe that facing various trials will make us perfect and complete, lacking nothing, then we should welcome them with open arms, being expectant that great things will come from them.
Joseph wasn’t qualified to become who God needed him to be. He had to go through some trying times in order to develop into the man that would be capable of humbly ruling a nation while at the same time faithfully serving God. This is a serious and somewhat impossible task. The seventeen-year-old Joseph might not have been up to the task. In his pride Joseph shared with his brothers his dream of ruling over his family. This led to his brothers hating him and eventually selling him into slavery. What if that Joseph, the bragger, didn’t have to go through the trials that he did? Do you think he would have been as capable of all that God had for him? God used the awful things Joseph had to face to strengthen his faith and dependence on God. This is the kind of man who can rule a nation humbly, honoring and bringing glory to God. Had life gone well and easily for him he might not have developed into the man of God he became, being used to save an entire nation.
I have had to face a lot of painful and difficult trials in my life. In the past I often questioned why God allowed things to happen. What I have come to find is that God can use any trial, no matter how horrible it is, for good. When Joseph saw his brothers again he said the most amazing thing to them. Every time I read it I am in awe of God and His grace! He said “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20) This is such a beautiful picture of God’s grace and love for us. Don’t lose hope in the midst of your trial. Remind yourself that God is always faithful and good and will use for good what others meant for evil.
Maybe you are currently going through some tough times and are questioning whether or not God is with you. Take some comfort in the fact that even while serving as a slave in another man’s household, and while in prison, God was with Joseph and he prospered. On top of this, when Joseph ran into his brothers, you know the ones who wanted to kill him and eventually sold him to slavery, he felt nothing but love for them, comforting them and speaking kindly to them. This is a true example of Joseph’s character. A character that I believe was shaped and molded through his trials as he held onto God and didn’t waiver in his faith. As you face your trials focus on the fact that God is refining you and molding you to better reflect his image.
I’m not sure why you are facing the trials you are facing, but I do know for sure that God wants nothing but the best for you and your life. If you decide to surrender your life to Him and accept Jesus Christ as your savior no trial you ever face again will be too much for you to handle.