My all-time favorite character story in the Old Testament of the Bible is the story of Joseph. Here’s a guy who had the lowest of lows and the highest of highs – yet his primary, default setting was FAITHFUL.
Joseph was the kind of man I want to be. I mean, I’d prefer to not be sold into slavery by my brother – or unjustly imprisoned. But I would like to be the kind of guy that rises to the task, no matter what my station in life. I want everything I do to bring glory to God and to never doubt Him, even when life feels totally unjust.
Because life is unjust, isn’t it? Justice will come with God’s Kingdom and it will be fierce and loving and perfect. But for now we struggle to live justly – while everything going on around us is a swirl of selfish chaos and despair. And what is the reward for hard work, due-diligence and honorable living? You may reap some of those benefits in this life, but pleasing God is supposed to be its own reward. Eternal benefits are a good deal on paper and in eternal reality – but it is on the other side of this thin veil between life and eternity.
So I ask myself – Josh, do you have what it takes? Can you be a real living sacrifice to God, knowing that it means you won’t get what you want – when you want it? Can you handle your life being promised to Christ and willingly embrace whatever that brings? Even unto death?
I hope that we will all be shaped in this life to the point that, just like Joseph, we can honestly tell those who hurt us, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Genesis 50:20