No one travels far down the road of life without discovering that this journey is not always smooth or perfect. We can pray and wish for safety on the way. We should enjoy the stretches of the ride when the sun shines and things go beautifully. We ought to thank God for the times when we find ourselves singing, whistling, laughing, and smiling as we travel along.
But every single human being has discovered that there are bumps, detours, and even collisions that can bring our joy to a screeching halt. This is not fatalism. It is not negativity. It is certainly not a lack of faith. It is life on this planet.
If you meet someone — a preacher, teacher, or — who tries to tell you otherwise, BEWARE! If someone is peddling promises of a life with endlessly calm seas, perpetual blue skies, freedom from back pain, a guarantee of financial security, and ear-to-ear smiles your days, be very, very careful.
The Bible is filled with faithful friends of God who suffered in this life. Moses was violently opposed by the people he spent his life loving and trying to lead. David learned to dodge spears hurled at him by a mad king. Ruth walked through the death of her husband and became a stranger in a strange land. Jeremiah was beaten and thrown into a pit. Stephen, an early church leader, was stoned to death. The apostle Paul was strapped up and beaten no less than five times. The list could go on and on.
Then there is Joseph. He discovered at a young age that the road of life is not always smooth. His story is peppered with rejection, false attacks, deceitful accusations, enslavement, imprisonment, and long stretches of loneliness.
If you have ever hit a hard patch of road and thought, “I’ll never get through this,” you just might want to look over Joseph’s shoulder and learn from his journey. It was hard. It was not a weekend trip but a tour of duty that lasted about two decades! But his story echoes through the centuries to remind us that we can make it through even the toughest of times. We really can.
Introduce yourself! Tell us why you joined the study and where you are from. What interested you about this study? What do you hope to learn, and how do you hope to change because of it? We’d love to hear from you!