Imagine a world devoid of the trials of life. I am not making reference to Heaven, but Earth. Without trials, Joseph would have never been sold into slavery by his brothers. He would have never experienced the injustice of imprisonment after a false accusation from his master’s wife. He would have never interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams. He would have never been appointed to the second-highest position in Egypt. He would have never paved the way for Israel to enter the Promised Land as a nation.

If you view this scenario from a wider angle, you will see the national implications of Joseph’s trial-free life: Joseph and his family would have perished in Canaan during the 7-year famine. The nation of Israel would never have been born. There would be no King David. There would be no Messiah to reign on David’s throne. There would be no redemption for the sins of mankind. You and I would be dead in our sins without hope of Heaven. Joseph’s trials were necessary for the fulfillment of God’s purpose in his life and in human history. So are yours and mine.

When we look at our trials from the surface, the only thing we can see is pain and discomfort. It takes a trained eye to see God’s hand working behind the scenes, molding our character and preparing us for the things He has in store for our future. Through the wisdom gained from experience, we understand that the trials we endured forged the core of our character. They were the pathway to glory, the gateway to grace. Without them, we would long ago have perished with our potential.

Have you been down because of hardships which seem to race to your door? Before you try to wish them away, think about the big picture. Remember that God’s purpose for your pain might not be visible at the beginning (or in the middle, or even at the end) of your trials. You might not understand it at first, but you can be as sure as Joseph that God has your best interests at heart. He is using the present pain for future gain.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.

Gain a deeper understanding of your hardships through Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.’s book, Why Life Hurts.