Romans 8:28 — is it really true, or is it some kind of crutch Christians cling to when they try to see the dark side of life through rose-colored glasses? In a family of twelve brothers and one sister, Joseph was the darling son. For sixteen years, he lived a quiet, sheltered life. For sixteen years, his brothers’ hatred towards him simmered. Then Joseph turned 17, and the pot boiled over. His brothers cast him into a pit and sold him into slavery. His captors brought him to Egypt, where he was purchased by the Pharaoh’s captain of the guard. Joseph served him well, but his master’s wife falsely accused him and he was put in prison. After interpreting the dreams of one of the king’s prisoners who was later released, the man forgot about Joseph, and Joseph had to wait in prison for two more years. Life had dealt Joseph a losing hand . . . or so it seemed.

Joseph’s break finally came. After interpreting the Pharaoh’s dreams, he was promoted to Prime Minister over the entire nation of Egypt. A global famine came, and God used Joseph to spare his entire family. After 13 years of unjust suffering, Joseph finally saw God turn his circumstances for good. He acknowledged this after being reunited with his brothers: But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20) Thus Romans 8:28 was proven true even before it was written. This is the way God works: He allows pain, setbacks, distress, failure, and injustice to accomplish a greater purpose in our lives. We will see this only if we keep our eyes on Him through our trials.

You may be the victim of cruel injustice. Others might look upon you with disdain because of their envy. People in your inner circle may turn against you. You feel like impenetrable obstacles will forever keep you from achieving your dreams. Look before you weep. God is still at work. Even as your eyes cloud with tears, keep them gazing heavenward. Good will come of your circumstances — you have God’s word on the subject.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.