I attend Bible Study Fellowship each Monday evening with Game Master. It is a great in-depth Bible study - and it is international! This year we have been studying the book of Genesis.
Last Monday, we looked at Joseph's suffering. He suffered due to nothing he'd done. His suffering was all because of other's sins! His brothers sold him into slavery - he did nothing to deserve this! Potiphar had him put in jail, after his wife accused Joseph of attacking her - when really he rejected her advances! He finally had a way out of jail, but the cupbearer forgot him! It was so disheartening! I left that night angry with God.
See, I often feel that I suffer consequences from other's sin. Now, don't get me wrong! I'm not sinless or anything, by any means! I certainly suffer consequences of my own sin. It's just plain and simple. I won't name names or allude to any one person. I'm not doing this to place blame. That is my point. Last week, I left blaming.
I was thinking, "It's all their fault that I suffer!" "It's just not fair." "How could God allow this to continue, hurting me like it does?" It has been a very difficult week for me, holding onto this bitterness.
Then, tonight, we go a bit further in the story... and realize that Joseph's attitude the whole time was humility! He never got a "I feel sorry for myself" attititude! He remained close to God. He was obedient, even to suffering. He was made closer to the image of Christ through this.
Now, isn't that what God wants of me? Isn't that what I pray? God is saying to me, "Do you mean that, or is it just words?"
Tonight, our teaching leader said many things that cut into my heart. It was all I could do to keep it together. Tears poured down my face the whole time. Here are some of the things she said:
"We should work hard and do our best, no matter what the momentary rewards are."
"God is at work in ways that are not our ways."
"Always expect and know God is working in your hopeless situation."
"God is sovereign and no person can stand in the way for His plan for you."
"Nothing is impossible with God. Do you want God to do whatever it takes to make you in the image of His Son?"
Joseph could've blamed his brothers for everything that he'd been through, but instead, he said, "it was not you who sent me here, but God." (Genesis 45:8)
And so I pray, God give me an attitude like Joseph - an attitude of humility, devotion and obedience, whatever it takes! You sent me here! Your will be done. Amen.