As we studied the life of Joseph at church, I was reminded over and over again that, even though bad things kept happening to him, he always seemed to make the best of the situation and land back on his feet. As we wrapped up the series, these verses in Genesis 45 struck me in a brand new way.
Joseph could have harbored bitterness in his heart and remained angry with his brothers for selling him into slavery and for all the bad things that happened to him as a result. Instead, whether as a servant in Potiphar’s house, a prisoner in jail, or second-in-command to Pharaoh, he asked God, “What now, Lord, would you have me do in this situation?” He was obedient to share what God revealed to him even when it was bad news for the listener. He also worked hard to be the best he could be regardless of the circumstances in which he found himself.
Joseph had every reason to become bitter and resentful, wondering why God had forsaken him or even forgotten about him. But he believed that God was at work through his entire life and had sent him to Egypt in order to preserve the Israelites during a terrible famine.
In the same way, God is at work in our lives today even when we cannot see his hand and are tempted to ask, “Why, Lord?” Joseph’s example shows we need to ask, “what now?” rather than “why?”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you are always at work, even when I cannot see it and find it hard to believe. Help me to trust in your sovereignty today, knowing that you are truly good and that you are at work right now in this situation. Show me what you want me to be doing now. Amen.
Go Deeper — Are you in a situation where you find yourself asking, “Why me, God?” and wonder how God is ever going to work anything good out of this? Commit your circumstances to him who is at work even now, and instead ask him, “What now, Lord? What would you have me do today?”
Read Further — We all have a tendency to want to “do it ourselves” when we get in a tough situation, all the while wondering where God is in it all. This article, Crumbs Along the Way is one person’s journey through tough times.
Photo Credit: Melanie Brown