Tag Archives: Joseph

In His Time

There’s a lovely little chorus my children used to sing when they were little. It’s called “In His Time.”

In his time, in his time
He makes all things beautiful
In his time

Lord please show me everyday
As you’re teaching me your way
That you do just what you say
In your time

Sometimes we can’t understand God’s perspective on time. I’ve been reading the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 and 39 again.

Joseph was a teenager, somewhat cocky and arrogant as many teenage boys are. His brothers hated him. So much so, that, when the opportunity arose, most of them would have killed him. The oldest brother intervened, persuading them not to shed their brother’s blood but rather to throw him down a well. He intended to rescue him later but in the interim the other brothers sold Joseph to slave traders on their way to Egypt.

Joseph found himself in a terrible situation not through any actions of his own. He was a slave in a foreign country. He couldn’t speak the language. He trusted in God and prayed to Him, no doubt begging to be returned to his father. God didn’t answer that prayer. But He was with Joseph in his situation. “When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes. “ (Genesis 39:3-4a NIV)

Joseph was unjustly accused. Again an innocent person suffered because of the sin of others. Joseph ended up in the king’s prison. He must have wondered why God had allowed such an unjust thing to happen to him. Yet again the Lord was with Joseph and everything he did was successful. but he was still not free. He was still in a foreign land.

Joseph was thirty before things finally changed for him. ten years of the prime of his life were wasted. Or were they?

When Joseph finally appeared before Pharaoh, there was no trace of the arrogant youth. Joseph was humble, yet confident in God. God had used the years that seemed wasted to mould Joseph’s character. In the ten years, Joseph had also learned to speak Egyptian, a skill he needed both to communicate with Pharaoh and to fulfill his role as overseer of all Egypt. God couldn’t have used Joseph as he was when he first arrived in Egypt. God’s plan needed time.

So often we find ourselves in a situation where God doesn’t answer our prayers. We can’t understand why He has allowed us to suffer. We pray and we pray. We feel God has abandoned us, we doubt His love.

God uses the unjust, the unfair, the unfortunate trials of our lives to fit us for His future plans. He promised never to leave us nor forsake us and He honours that promise. He is with us when we struggle, when we don’t understand, when things seem to go from bad to worse. Joseph was able to say to his brothers, “What you intended for evil, God intended for good.”

God makes all things beautiful in His time. That is the point. It takes time and we should not waste the pain.

My Prayer

Lord, I am limited by my perception of time. I can’t understand why You don’t bring healing when I’ve been praying for years. Like the Psalmist I want to ask, “How long, Lord, how long?” Even though I don’t understand Your ways and Your times, please give me eyes to see Your presence with me even when there seems no relief in sight. Amen.


A new theme has been tugging at the corners of my mind lately. In a series by Max Lucado called “You will get through this,” we learned last night that one thing that helped Joseph get through betrayal, a trip down to Egypt as a captive, slavery, unjust accusations and a prison term, was the destiny God had planted in his heart at a young age. Because of his dreams, he knew God had a plan for him, a destiny.

Then on Sunday the kids talk looked at things made for a purpose. We looked at a huge beach ball which was made for fun. When it gets popped, however, it can no longer fulfill its purpose. In the same way, God made us for a purpose. Sin breaks us in a way that we can no longer fulfill God’s purpose. However, Christ’s victory over sin can reverse this process and make us new.

I have a blouse that I love and that I’ve had for at least five years. It contains my favourite colours, I like the style, it matches most of my clothes and it doesn’t make me look fat. Recently, however, the elastic at the neck has become so feeble, I can no longer wear my blouse without constantly being aware that it is getting too low. Yesterday I started the arduous task of unpicking the elastic with the intention of inserting brand new elastic so my blouse can once again fulfill the purpose for which it was created.

In the same way, once we have been saved, God’s grace works renewal in us. We have to put off some of our old ways, habits and thoughts and put on new ones. God’s destiny for us is from grace to glory.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say, No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11 – 14 NIV)

We have a God-given destiny. Christ has redeemed us to be His people and to do what is good (some translations say good works.) This knowledge strengthens us to be able to get through what the world throws at us, be it betrayal, injustice, loss, or anything the devil uses to interfere with our achieving our true purpose.

Let’s live to our true potential.