'The Lord tested Joseph's character.' Psalm 105:19 NLT

Joseph, son of Jacob, in the Bible, is a textbook example of putting up with the pain and hanging in with God. The story, which you can read about in Genesis 37-45, begins with a classic case of 'Golden Child syndrome'. Jacob had many sons, but only Joseph is given the now world-famous 'amazing technicolour dreamcoat'. This, understandably, really miffed his brothers. Later, when he reports an arrogant dream he has had about them, things get really rough for him. He is left for dead by his brothers, sold to people traffickers, then gets thrown into an Egyptian prison for a crime he didn't commit, and he's pretty much left there, as everyone forgets about him. A horrific chain of events sparked off, all because he was a bit big-headed and ignorant as a teenager.

Yet Joseph hung in there. He went on to become a dream interpreter for the Pharoah, then chancellor of Egypt. The story ends with all of Joseph's earlier dreams about his brothers coming true, and eventually reconciliation with his family.

Through all these trials and pain, his character was refined. This story should give all of us hope. Its happy ending is not the point. The point is that God wants more than to just do stuff through us, he wants to build good and solid character in us.

So what now? Your life is different to Joseph's but it will still be filled with character building times. Hang in there, trust in God and grow on the inside.

Soulfood: Rev 5-9 Mt 21:1-17 Ps 77 Pro 6:29,

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