The story of Joseph’s life is found in Genesis 37 and 39-50. Throughout Joseph’s life, he suffered unjustly. He was a human and so he was imperfect, but he did not do anything to deserve to be sold as a slave by his own brothers or to later be thrown into jail. In fact, if he had sinned with Potiphar’s wife, he may not have been thrown in jail at all.
In spite of all his unjust suffering over the years of his life, God later raised him to become the second most powerful ruler in Egypt. God did not reward Joseph simply because he had suffered unjustly, but because it was part of His sovereign plan that Joseph be raised up. Speaking to his brothers about their past actions, Joseph said,
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20
God uses difficulty and suffering for our good in many different ways (James 1:2-4). However, our hope in the midst of suffering does not need to stop at becoming more like Christ–which is a marvelous truth we would do well to meditate on–but as believers we also have what I am calling the “hope of Joseph.”
Whatever we may be in this life and whatever we may face, we have a blessed hope to look forward to because of Christ.
Just as Joseph was raised up as part of God’s plan and through God’s work, we too will be raised up one day.
“And they sang a new song, saying:
‘You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.” – Revelation 5:9-10
The blood of Christ has purchased us for God and by Him we have been made a kingdom and priests to serve God. Part of our service to God will be reigning on earth.
I don’t really understand what this means or will look like. However, I know that our status might be low in the eyes of the world, that we may suffer unjustly, and be put down, but that God has raised us and will raise us to heights that we cannot yet dream of because of His great love and for the praise of His glory.
No matter what happens in this life, we can be confident that God is present, understanding our situation, working in us, through us, and around us and that we have a multitude of blessings to look forward to in the future.
If you ever feel stepped on by this world, know that through the work of Christ God is going to raise you up. We can read the account of Joseph, see the arc of his story and know that our own story will in some ways follow that same path. Not because of any work on our part, but relying completely on the complete and perfect work of Jesus. We have the hope of Joseph, in fact we have a hope far greater than, the hope of Christ. Joseph was raised to rule Pharaoh’s kingdom, but we will be raised to reign with Christ in His kingdom.