When you feel discouraged about life, read Genesis 37-50, the life of Joseph.

When Joseph was merely 17, God told him he would rise to greatness. He was going to be big, a CEO, a huge success.

God could’ve taken Joseph from point A of his teenage life to point B to his ultimate position of power in a straight line, couldn’t he?

This is how I would’ve done it:

The brothers’ plan to sell Joseph was foiled when a caravan of nice people came by instead of slave traders. Seeing Joseph in the pit, they fought off the brothers, saves Joseph and gives him a ride home. Upon hearing what happened, Joseph’s father buys Joseph a separate home to live in, and in order to avoid the jealous brothers, Joseph gets a job working as a clerk in a grocery store and leaves the family business to his brothers.

God was with Joseph, and due to his diligence and integrity, he gets promoted to management and helps the owner expand the company into a multi-store chain. With a higher salary now, Joseph was able to buy his own house, provide a housekeeper to care for aging father, buy each of his brothers a herd of camels, and all family harmony was restored.

Then 7 years before the famine, God helps Joseph successfully doubles his employers earnings. As a bonus, his boss gives him a vacation for 2 to Egypt.

While Joseph and his father travels to Egypt on a luxury caravan staying at 5-star inns along the way, all paid for by his grateful boss, he hears rumors of the Pharaoh’s dreams. God reveals the interpretation to Joseph and he relays it to Pharaoh.

The Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph that he asked him, “By the way, do you have any experience with managing large inventories of food storage?” Joseph replies, “Yes, I happen to be the manager of a multi-chain grocery store!”

Joseph is hired on as Pharaoh’s right hand man, and the rest is history as they say.

Don’t you like my version of Joseph’s life? God’s purpose is accomplished at the end, and along the way, Joseph lives a comfortable life.

Alas, for some reason, God never takes the easy route. What’s with the suffering, the humiliation, the disappointments, the deserted friends and dysfunctional family?

I may never know…but I know that if there was an easy way, God would’ve taken it.

He did not even give himself an easy route. He took the hard road by being the son of a poor carpenter, lived a life of hardship, because that’s what it took to accomplish every detail of his plan.

When I face difficulties, I have reason to believe that there is something in the suffering that is accomplishing some good purpose. My life is part of a greater plan that affects not only myself, but it effects the purposes of those around me. After all, God’s plan for Joseph not only played out in Joseph’s life, but it affected the numerous people he rubbed shoulders with. His brothers, his father, the cupbearer, the jailer, those in jail with him, the slave traders, Potiphar, his wife – all these people’s destiny were affected by Joseph.

Aside from the fact that the trials made Joseph into a better person, it probably made others around fulfill their purposes in God’s plan for them as well.

The best way from point A to point B may not be the easiest one. But we do arrive there, and that makes it all worthwhile.

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