Joseph experienced some real suffering in his life. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. (Genesis 37) He was wrongly accused and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit (Genesis 39). He had to work his way back into the good graces of his employers and it took a really long time. (Genesis 39-45) In the end, he was able to look back on these events and see God working for GOOD in the midst of his suffering. (Genesis 45:4-7)
At times I can look back into suffering and see what God was up to. When my son was four he had the tip of his finger severely injured in a door. He went through a lot of pain and suffering including learning to use his left hand and spending a lot of time with rehab. after the wound was healed. During the experience it was hard to see him hurting and it took a long time to see that he was back to “normal,” but today as I look back I can see what Good things God brought from the suffering. The ability to use both hands has come in handy at times, and will make him a better athlete in the long run. That’s definitely good news for this sports fiend! More importantly is the time that he got to witness the care and work of many loving and well trained doctors, nurses, and therapists. Today he talks about going into the medical field possibly as a physical therapist himself someday. That experience of suffering just may open the door for him to spend his life reducing the suffering of others. That’s definitely Good news!
It can be easier to see the Good that God does in suffering in hindsight. The challenge is to look with those eyes of faith into the suffering that we are experiencing today and TRUST that God IS doing Good even though it hurts.
Sometimes sharing those examples of times in the past when God did Good from suffering can help us to remember that this is one of the ways that God works mysteriously in our lives. It’s actually a very Big part of God’s plan to bring about Good from suffering…just look at Jesus!
Please feel free to share an example of God working Good from suffering in your life in the comment section below.