February 14, 2014 by Chris French
It’s no mushy love story, but in the final chapters of Joseph’s life we see redemption and restoration. Today we’re reading Genesis 45-46. You’ll see Joseph wailing so loudly that the Egyptians in his house heard him when he reveals his identity to his brothers. All the pain, loneliness and anger comes thru Moses’ words as he describes Joseph’s grief. Nearly 4,000 years later you can still almost hear Joseph’s weeping as you read Moses’ account.
You’ll see a man’s desire for his father to know that he had made something of himself and you’ll see Joseph hugging and weeping as he kissed his brothers. You’ll see Jacob dumbfounded when the brothers tell him that not only is Joseph still alive, but he now rules Egypt and you’ll see the family packing up everything and moving their large family, 70 people total, to Egypt to outlast the famine.
What you’ll also notice is God. He’s a strand that is woven all throughout Joseph’s story. Now Joseph sees the big picture of his life. His brothers weren’t at fault for selling him. It was God’s plan. He had sent Joseph ahead of them so he could be in a position to save the entire family from this famine. God had taken something incredibly ugly and mean spirited, Joseph’s brothers selling their own brother into slavery, and made something that had not only blessed Jacob’s family, but had blessed the entire Middle East! Along the way God had been doing something in Joseph too. He had let go of the initial anger and resentment he must have felt after their betrayal. He had overcome the loneliness of being a slave in a strange country. He had learned forgiveness, mercy and grace. He had learned generosity, kindness and gentleness.
We know God turned heartbreaking situations into things people were thankful for in the Old Testament, but under Jesus He makes the promise to do so!
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
If you are God’s he makes all things, even the circumstances that break your heart and are devastating to you, beautiful. He turns those things into something you’re thankful for. It may take 2o+ years like it did for Joseph, but know that He is working to turn your heartbreak into joy. But that’s not all the verse says! Check out verse 29. He takes these awful circumstances and He uses them to mold us into Jesus’ image! If nothing else good comes out of your heartbreak know that while He did not cause that pain He can use it to make you more like Jesus.
Think of the most devastating event in your life. Have you had the “Joseph moment” yet when you saw how God used those circumstances to bless you?
In my own grief I’ve seen God polishing a Christlike trait in me. Every time I feel agony it’s an opportunity for God to take away more of the dirt and stain that has covered up that quality in me. Every time my heart is broken he goes a little deeper and that Christlike trait shows thru a little more. Which traits has He polished in you thru your suffering?