Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. Acts 7:9-10 NIV
When reading about the life of Joseph we like the part about how God gave him wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh. We leaders really like the part where Pharaoh made Joseph “ruler over all Egypt and all his palace.” But we tend to ignore the process that God took Joseph through to get the ‘good part.’ He was sold as a slave by his brothers, falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife, forgotten in prison by those he helped, and then finally released and honored by Pharaoh.
Note that God did not prevent the troubles from coming upon Joseph. But He did rescue him from all his troubles, not just some of them. It’s similar to the end of life. Almost all want to go to heaven, but few want to die to get there! We like the end, not the process.
I would assume that a part of the wisdom that Joseph was given was perspective. We don’t see Joseph complaining about his terrible circumstances. His destiny revealed to him as a 17 year old in two dreams was finally brought into reality as a 40 year old when his brothers were bowing down before him asking for food to feed their families. God will give you His perspective on your troubles if you ask Him.
Many Kingdom leaders are surprised when troubles overtake them – as if something strange has happened. Yet, a study of the Scriptures shows over and over again that those who would live (and lead) like Christ will have difficulties. These troubles are not necessarily God’s discipline or a consequence of our disobedience. Rather, they are trials that the Lord allows to further His purposes in and through us.
He does not promise to keep these trials and tribulations away from us. But He does promise to never leave us or forsake us. He promises that no temptation shall be too much for us without Him providing the way of escape. Trust Him! Persevere! Set your face like a flint!
Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7 NIV