June 14, 2007
When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?”
Don’t you just love the buoyant optimism and biblical hope of Joseph?
In today’s passage, we see him showing concern about the cupbearer and the baker who shared a prison cell with him. They must have been thinking, “Joseph, have you forgotten, we’re in prison?!”
Rather than wallowing in self-pity and whining about his circumstances, Joseph looked out for others. He asked questions. He cared for others. Why? Because his trials had taught Joseph to look beyond himself to others…and to use his thorns and his tests as a ministry to others.
After all, how can we help broken people if we’ve never been broken? How can we help dry wet eyes if we’ve never shed a tear? How can we comfort those who are grieving if we’ve never experienced great grief?
That’s why God rarely, if ever, uses people until they have been broken…until they’ve come to a place in their lives where their own struggles and trials have made it possible for them to minister effectively.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Paul says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Because you and I have experienced God’s grace and comfort in the midst of our pain and struggles, we are able to serve others. That’s the blessing of adversity!
praise god today that he can use your hurts to help heal the hurts of others.