To be bitter or to trust?

{ For more on Joseph’s story read Genesis 37-45. }
In my journey with the Lord, I find I continually have opportunities for bitterness or further trust in the Lord…. especially being in ministry! Mark and I always joke on bad days that we want to be called to the ministry that doesn’t involve people. People hurt! We are messy and complicated! Those who are considered friends or family can hurt deeper than anyone else! It is so easy to grow bitter when you get hurt. And let’s face it. If you live with people… you will get hurt!
However, even though it is people that hurt, don’t we find a way to point our finger back at God?
Why did You put me in this family? Why am I working here with these people? Why did you put these people in my life….. just to torment me? Why didn’t You make them do ____? Why did you allow him to do that? How could You let her to say that?
God becomes Sovereign when we want Him to be.
The truth is God is always Sovereign.
He is always working (Phil. 1:6). He is always in control (Isaiah 45:5). He is always working in love and for our good (Psalm 103:17, Romans 8:28). He is always working His plan (Isaiah 46:11)….. regardless of what other people do or say.

Joseph got this. In chapter 45 of Genesis, he reveals himself to his brothers who thought they had been begging a stranger for food and money during the drought. He says, “Please come closer to me…. I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.”
I can only imagine who his brothers felt. “Uh-oh! We are about to get it!”
The Bible says they could not speak.
But instead of wrath, indignation and accusations, Joseph says this, “Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)
Do you here the trust? the peace? the security?
If anyone would have been dignified for bitterness against his brothers and ultimately God for letting all that happen, I think it would be Joseph!!! But instead Joseph is secure and knows His God had a plan from the begining. He knows His God allowed his brothers misdeeds for a reason! He knows God was in control of it all and was working the whole time.
And most importantly, compared to Genesis 37 of a young pompous kid with a vision, this is a man who truly knows His God! It isn’t through trouble free circumstances or people encouraging him every small step of the journey that He has come to an intimately knowledge of the ways of His God. It is through the pits of a hole, the back of a camel taking him Lord knows where. Its because of the lies of a woman, distrust of a boss, demotion and then jail. It is through being forgotten. It is through long nights of loneliness and waiting. It is through the stress and pressure of an important job. It is through a promise fulfilled but unforeseen weighty emotions that go with it. It is through these events that He came to trust His Sovereign God instead of grow bitter and angry at His circumstances.

For He has torn us but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.” Hosea 6:1


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