One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of Joseph. Most of you probably know the story but in recap:
- Joseph was sold into slavery at the age of 17 by his jealous brothers
- The captain of Pharaoh's guard, Potiphar, purchased Joseph as his slave, but eventually put Joseph in charge of his household
- Potiphar's wife lusted after Joseph and when he turned her down, she lied about him and had him thrown into prison
- Joseph spent many years in prison where he met 2 of Pharaoh's officials and interpreted their dreams.
- After the official's dreams came true, one was released back into Pharaoh's service but forgot all about Joseph.
Basically, Joseph spent 13 years of his youth as either a slave or in prison for doing absolutely nothing wrong. (Most people at this point would be mad at God. I know I probably would)
But it only took one day for Joseph to go from the prison to the palace and become the Prime Minister of Egypt, 2nd only in power to Pharoah. (Note: When God is ready to act, He doesn't mess around!)
Could it be that all these "seemingly" horrible things that happened to Joseph were all just preparing him for a huge promotion? Joseph spent the rest of his life in luxury and fame. He got married, had kids, and was eventually reunited with his family. But more importantly, God used him in a powerful way to save the people of Israel from being exterminated by an upcoming famine.
God used every single bad thing in Joseph's life to teach him, to humble him, and to prepare him for the great responsibiity of running Egypt.
So, the next time you're tempted to complain or get angry about some bad situations that have come you way, stop and consider that perhaps God wants to use you in a far greater way than you could ever imagine. I wonder how many people miss out on all God has to give them because they gave up on God during the hard times?