As we close out the 2010s and look forward to the 2020s we have an opportunity to reflect on The Faithfulness of God. While some of us have powerful stories of God’s goodness, others see only difficulty, hardship and suffering. How do we make sense of these difficulties? Joseph’s story from Genesis 37-50 is helpful as we contemplate the ways God is faithful.
Joseph is a bratty kid with a sense that he’s called to lead. Yet his brothers find him insufferable, so they sell him into slavery. So begins a thirteen-year ordeal for Joseph as he goes from slave, to prisoner, to governor of Egpyt. After he comes to power, he has a chance to exact revenge on his brothers but, after playing some head games with them, he refuses. While His brothers sent him to Egypt because of their malice, Joseph sees God’s hand at work, preserving the lives of his family. We read Joseph’s reply in Genesis 50:14-21
From this story, we learn a few key lessons about the Faithfulness of God:
- God has a plan
- That plan is not derailed by my failures, or by evil committed against me
- That plan takes time to work, but the delay is not evidence of God’s failure
- Our suffering has redemptive possibilities, shaping our character or showing others the way God has shaped our character.
Questions for Reflection
- In what ways have I seen God’s faithfulness in the last decade?
- In which areas of my life, does it seem like God is absent?
- Have I experienced situations where I see God’s goodness only after the fact? What happened?
- What ways can I imagine that God is working good through my struggles, disappointments and hardships?