Living Love Story #7: Fruitful in the Land of Suffering

Let’s say that on Tuesday of this week you were met with a series of difficult circumstances all colliding at once. Perhaps you found out that your best just wasn’t really cutting it in your job or in an important relationship. You began to wonder who was going to make you cry next. Financial problems and health problems and people problems…

Then today, Wednesday, you get a series of affirming words and you feel some peace about relationships. You see that the finances could be worse, or maybe even something good happens in that area. You got a decent night of sleep and your health issue seems to be tolerable at least. The sun shines yet again, and you don’t feel as lost in the dark…

Which day would you be more likely to say these statements:
“The Lord is with me.”
“I am prospering.”
“I am being given success right now in everything I am doing.”
“God is granting me favor with people.”
“God is showing me kindness.”
“I am to the point of even forgetting my former trouble.”
“God has made me fruitful in my suffering.”

I would be more likely to say these statements, and in fact I did say these statements, on Wednesday. But on Tuesday? No. On Tuesday, I was busy feeling abandoned and confused and stressed. Not fruitful. Not successful. Just the opposite.

I have always liked the story of Joseph. Starting in Genesis 37, we know Joseph is in for it with his brothers. Boasting about dreams, being his father’s favorite, it was about all they could take…and eventually his brothers sell him to some Egyptians. It’s an amazing story that shares a real life example of Romans 8:28! And when Joseph was sold into slavery, when he was falsely accused, when he was thrown into prison, the Word of God specifically declares every single one of the truths I mentioned above–about Joseph–right in the middle of his circumstances. These things weren’t said after the Pharoah got him out of prison or after his brothers apologized or after Joseph’s wisdom and gifts saved lives. (Gen. 39:2-4, Gen. 39:20-23, Gen. 41:51-52) It was on the bad days that these things were true, as well as the “good” days.

God does things in a way that is beyond our understanding, so He invites us to be a child and trust Him. “Oh for grace to trust Him more!”

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