TRIAL / TRAGEDY NOT IN VAIN

**Gen 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. NIV
**Ja 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. NIV

This is Joseph, son of Jacob/Israel. Envy had stirred among his older brothers, so they seized Joseph when he was a teenager, and sold him into slavery. Eventually he ended up in Egypt in a high place in the pharaoh’s kingdom. Many years later because of famine, the brothers from Israel travel to Egypt and this verse is what Joseph says in his encounter with his brothers. The truth is we live in a world that is not perfect. There is sin, and along with sin, bad decisions are made, bad things happen even to the best of people, whom we would deem as good and undeserving of bad things happening to them. How good the world defines one does not have one exempt from difficulty along life’s journey. Because in the eyes of God man is not good, man will enter into struggle and trial for God to work His goodness within. Jesus said it Himself (Jn. 16:33) that in this world we will have tribulation. Trial and struggle that comes with it is the way of this world. To focus on the why of it all: why tragedies happen, why there is disease or why children end up growing up in bad situations, just to name a few, we may never have full understanding. Out of the worst of situations, there is always something profoundly comforting that would be brought to the forefront to serve God’s good purpose. We may not see the good in the situation right away. It had been approximately 20 years between the time Joseph was sold into slavery to the time he saw his brothers again. During this time, he was not always in the high place in the pharaoh’s kingdom. He had some struggles including being falsely accused and thrown in prison. Whatever the situation, let us have the hope that endurance through trial is not in vain, whether if it is for God to grow us out of a rut into maturity or something that would be of benefit on a greater scale much later in time (not necessarily within in one’s lifetime), or even both.