God Designs the Detours

Now [Joseph] had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind. – Genesis 37:9-11

Do you remember in school when the teacher would grade on the curve? At first when this decision was announced, it would give everyone hope. It would make us believe that we had a chance at a great grade because if the subject matter was difficult, our doing poorly may be good enough after all. But then, if your class was anything like mine, there would always be that one person, or two, who would somehow manage to ace the test even though the rest of us got low Bs or even Cs. Those amazing scores would cause the curve to not mean much or anything at all. We called that breaking the curve where I came from.

When you are chosen by God to represent Him in the culture, He wants you to break the curve. He wants you to set the standard so high that you truly reflect Him in your life. When you choose righteousness, and suffer because of it, the Lord will often allow continual trials because He knows they will test you even further. They will produce in you the qualities and character that will make you more like Jesus Christ.

Joseph had a glorious destiny ahead of him. He had a destiny that would save people—save nations—from literal starvation. But Joseph wasn’t going to arrive at his destiny until his character was molded and shaped in a manner where he could handle his destiny well.

One way to discover if you are on a God-inspired detour or simply going through the consequences of bad choices. Suffering for doing what is right is often a way that God tests us. Joseph wound up in jail because he refused to dishonor God by accepting the advances of Potiphar’s wife.

Another way you can discern you are on a detour designed by God is that in the midst of your suffering for doing good, God shows you His presence. He shows you His favor.

God will join you in the pit.