Most of us see people acting against us or circumstances that are against us. Often we blame the devil for everything that seems to be working against us. But those who are given a purpose in their life from God should learn to see people and circumstances as obeying the will of God. This is what happened to Joseph. He came to a point when he realized that it was not his brothers who sold him off to the Ishmaelites that really controlled events, but God.
At the same time we need to note that Joseph might never have recognized the hand of God in the events of his life that included being put in a pit, being sold off, being falsely accused of immoral behaviour, then being put in prison, and finally forgotten to be recommended by the cupbearer for whose dream he had given a favorable interpretation. Even after he became the ruler of Egypt he did not understand the purpose of God until he saw his brothers come down and bow before him (Genesis 42:9). So also with us. We may not understand the purpose of the difficulties we are passing through at this point in time. That understanding usually comes at a later date when some event compells us to look back to see the hand of God in the happenings of our life.
One great purpose that Joseph later recognized was this: It was to save lives that God had sent him ahead (Genesis 45:5, 7). To do so God had to first of all train him through all the rejection, hardship, misunderstanding and prison experience that he had to passed through. For God does not give great dreams and fulfill them immediately. He trains the dreamer through discipline that seems harsh at that time. That is the only way God can shape the man for greatness. This is the cost to be paid for being sent ahead (read also Psalm 105:16-22).
Dear child of God, there is a purpose for all that you’re passing through. It is to save many lives by putting you into a position of greatness. But greatness can corrupt you easily as it has corrupted many rulers. But when God allows you to pass through the fire, your worldly ambitions die. When God allows the cross of Christ to do its work in your life, your fleshly desires are crucified and nailed to the cross. This is done so that they won’t cause you trouble when you are exalted by God.
Even Jesus, when He passed through the bitterness of the cross endured it for the joy set before him. What is this joy? It is the joy of seeing multitudes of people saved from sin and become children of God. So look ahead to the joy when life is pressing you down with its pressures. The message of salvation is good news of great joy. It is the saving of many lives. For that purpose you are being trained today. Do not see people and circumstances as the cause of your suffering. Do not blame the devil. It is not them, but God (see Genesis 45:8).