“The Ability to Suffer” – Genesis 50:19-20

Genesis 50:19-20

“But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the Bible. Not because of God – we can understand Him acting perfectly. But when a person acts so differently than expected, we might pause and wonder. After reading these verses, one would think that Joseph was superhuman, able to allow such incredible betrayal to just roll off his back. But this wasn’t the case at all! Joseph named his kids in relation to his sorrow. This man suffered immense pain and felt every moment.

Joseph’s ability to suffer well was not because he was bullet-proof, but because he understood God in relation to his suffering. This isn’t a cliche or passing phrase. Know God and you will suffer better. You will see His movements better.

In the calm days, analyze God’s Word. Listen for His voice. Study His movements. Experience God like you experience tasting. He is part of every bite of your life. In this passage, Joseph knew two things:

  1. He knew God enough to know that he himself wasn’t. 
  2. Everything God does is good and right.

I don’t know what you need to get you through suffering, but God does. Continue to analyze, listen and experience God to know his movements better. That will help you know better what you need to do.

While using the HEAR method (see below) cross-reference the following verses with today’s verse: 
  • Proverbs 2:6 “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;”
  • Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you? 

Explain – what does the passage mean? 
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today? 
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?

Pastor Stephen Williams

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