Wednesday, July 13, 2005

More thoughts on Suffering.

Then Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph's authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper. Genesis 39:20b-23

I seem to think on this subject alot, but I think it's more about preparing myself than it is about having a habit of thinking like a pessimist-- a habit, incidentally, that I am endeavoring to break.

I find it interesting and instructive to note here that it is possible that while one is going through suffering, one one can at the same time experience blessing in other arenas. For one thing, Joseph was protected from Potiphar's wife just by being in jail. For another thing, his integrity made him a trustworthy standout, and whatever he did while he was there prospered. He may have been in prison, but the Lord made sure he had a chance to shine there and catch the eye of important people. In fact, if Joseph had not gone to prison, it's likely that he would not have eventually found himself in a position to save Israel...and Egypt, while he was at it.

This isn't a bad thing to remember when we remember those who are suffering in our prayers. We can still ask God to bless them in other ways, and remember that there is quite possibly more going on than the saving of one skin.

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