“His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron; until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.”
—Psalm 105:18-19 ESV
The story of Joseph went from bad to worse.
His envious brothers had sold him as a slave and forced him into exile in a faraway and unfamiliar land, without rights and seemingly without hope. And for no fault of his own, in the land of his slavery Joseph was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
We do not know the exact amount of time he spent in that prison, but we know that it was at least several years; and those years were probably the most difficult of his life.
Years before, God had given Joseph dreams of greatness, but in that moment all the evidence seemed to suggest that those dreams were just vain hopes from his imagination.
And in that place of suffering, Psalm 105:19 says that “until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him.”
For it is in the moments when nothing makes sense that we discover if we truly believe the word that the Lord has given us. And in that process, if we don’t give up, God refines us and removes any confidence we once had in our ability to fulfill his promises in our own strength.
Don’t despise the process. If you allow God to do his work in it, you will come out on the other side more humble, more dependent on God and more prepared to live well in the fulfillment of his promises.
Here is a short prayer to carry with you today:
Breathe in: God;
Breathe out: Let your word refine me.