There is a crucial example from Joseph's life here that any of us who are serious about following Jesus, need to grasp. God’s plans for us do not necessarily conform to our wishes or comfort. Unfortunately, we all too often bail out, opting for an easier way or fall into complaining and despair when our lives get tough. When we do this, we miss what God is working to do in and through us. Joseph had no idea what God was up to, yet he resisted the temptation to wallow in self-pity and bitterness over his unfair and unjust situation. Romans 8:28-29 says "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son". Joseph's response to his circumstances perfectly illustrates this. No one but God knew that as Joseph lived in utter obscurity for years in a prison far from anyone who cared about him, that God his father was setting him up to be a major player in the course of history. We see in this week's reading, that Joseph has continued to be surrendered to God through it all. So what about you and me? Do we trust God when our plans and hopes fall apart? Or do we complain, whine and get angry that God isn't treating us appropriately? When life gets hard, really hard, do we bow in surrender or bail?
Joseph's story reminds us that by maintaining trust and obedience, no matter what comes our way, is the path to experiencing God's strength, grace and purposes for us.