Psalm 105:16 When (God) summoned famine against the land (where God’s people lived), and broke every staff of bread, 17 (God) had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 (Joseph’s) feet were hurt with fetters, his neck was put in a collar of iron; 19 until what (God) had said came to pass, the word of the LORD kept testing him. 20 The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free. 21 (Pharaoh) made (Joseph) lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions, 22 to instruct his officials at his pleasure, and to teach his elders wisdom.
In this passage we’re told that God, anticipating a famine where his people had settled, provided for their survival. Years before the famine occurred, God sent Joseph to Egypt so that God’s people could find food there when they had none in their own land. In verse 17 above it says Joseph was “sold as a slave”. That’s how Joseph arrived in Egypt – in chains. Not very pleasant for sure. However, over the course of many years, Joseph went from being a slave to being 2nd in command to Pharaoh in all Egypt. As the #2 guy Joseph had authority to feed the Hebrews, who were saved from starvation.
Joseph endured terrible hardship and pain, but it was pain with a purpose.
It’s true. God can and does send people through difficult times in order to accomplish his purposes for us and for our world. Pain with a purpose. There are many examples of this in the bible. Here’s a question for us to ponder this morning.
How might God be shaping us, teaching us, preparing us for the future via the difficulties we’re wrestling with right now?
Gracious God, if we are enduring pain with a purpose, give us grace to embrace it rather than fight it. Let your will be done in us as in all things. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.