Better, Not Bitter!

Once more I am blown away by the positive life-perspective of Joseph in the Bible!  What an example of faith and confidence in the providence of God!

Now I know some who experience injustice, inflicted pain and even oppression who embitter and scream out, “unfair! unfair!! unfair!!!  They become emotionally fixated on the negative and hurtful experiences of life to the point they can see little else.  If they continue in their fixation they shrivel up in life and go to the grave dehydrated little balls of bitterness.

Joseph, in the Bible could have done that… Sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of sexual misconduct by his master’s wife, unjustly sent to prison, forgotten by those he had helped, separated from his father for years through no fault of his own… It could have embittered him… 

But it didn’t!!!  In my Bible reading today, Joseph exhibited a life-perspective that was different!  A life-perspective I want – a way of seeing things (even painful and unfair things) I want to embrace!  Listen to him as he speaks to his brothers – the ones who sold him into slavery…

“So Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come near to me, please.’ And they came near. And he said, ‘I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.  And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.  And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.  So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.’” (Genesis 45:4–8 ESV)

Joseph’s life-perspective reminds me of an assurance given by Apostle Paul in the Bible to those who trust God in the face of painful (and even unfair) life experiences…

“And we know that for those who love God ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD, for those who are called according to His purpose… What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? … Who can separate us from the love of Christ? … In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (from Romans 8:28-39)

With God’s help, I’m going to embrace that life-perspective!

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