When he was 17, Joseph received a prophetic promise. He didnt know the process would cause him unbelievable pain before he would see promises fulfilled. He had no idea where life would take him, the things he would be robbed of, the hurtful betrayal he would experience, and the crazy people he would meet along the way. It would take 13 years to even begin to see a glimpse of the beginning of that which God had him dream about as a young boy.
During those years, God was shaping his integrity and character, allowing circumstances to happen for Joseph to learn humility. He was breaking off self sufficiency in him so one day, he would be able to handle the weight of the promise and walk into the fulfillment of that which God had spoken over him - to become a Governor and 2nd most powerful man in Egypt. He had everything restored and received back more than he initially lost and even got to experience reconciliation from those who hurt him.
Joseph named his children Manasseh and Ephraim. Together their names mean "God has made me forget all my trouble.....and God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering". This is what happens when we choose to allow God to walk us through the refining process. He even told his brothers that though they initially had intentions to harm him, God intended everything that happened for good to accomplish saving many lives (in his case, that meant his family, his relatives, his brothers, and thousands and thousands of other people).
The process it takes from receiving a promise to the possession of the promise is often painful. If we choose to travel down that road, it will break us, experiences will come that will bring pain and shape our character, and it will often, give us enough chances to choose between shortcuts or choosing to have integrity. But if we choose to stick to the process of refining and trusting God through it all, God's promises bring in so much more fruit than anything we could ever manufacture for ourselves. And if we allow God to work in us, He can use the stories of our hardship to bring us into a season where it will help bring life and save not just you, but those you love the most, and others around you.
Morning thoughts • Genesis 37-50