Things sucked for Joseph. His brothers sold him as a slave, his new Egyptian boss threw him in prison when the boss’ wife fell for Joseph, and he languished in a prison cell while the Pharoah’s butler hung out upstairs enjoying his old job. It’s kind of hard at that point to say, ‘I know God is with me.’
The crazy thing is that HE was!!! God was with Joseph every step of the way, through all the crap and suckiness. Eventually, God blessed Joseph with a new job (Vice President of Egypt, yes, I’m sure it wasn’t called that, but we need something to relate to in today’s age), a wife, and two children that he named to reflect the differences in his life. God provided for Joseph and used his brothers’ own evil intentions to save the lives of Jacob and his children, thus preserving the lineage of Israel. I am sure there were times when Joseph hurt from the experience, and I think it would be appalling to not recognize the pain and suffering he went through, but it was all to demonstrate God’s love and mercy for those who love Him.
It’s hard to keep a healthy perspective in the middle of sorrows. However, we must remember that, according to Romans 8, all things good and bad work together for the benefit of the believer of Jesus Christ. Bad things are called bad things for a reason. It’s because they are bad. God, however, can use even the evil directed against us to edify us, prepare us, sustain us, and to bring glory to Him. I am still amazed at Joseph’s gracious response to his brothers after Israel died. That he could be so loving and accepting of his brethren can only mean one thing: Joseph saw the Lord in his suffering and knew that all that passed was part of His eternal plan.