If you have known domestic violence and abuse, you have known troubles. John Yates once said: Troubles are God setting the stage for greater blessings in your life. Doesn’t the thought that God provides a greater blessing for the troubles you’ve known, strengthened you? It does me. In fact, it was that very thought that strengthened me, and kep me going, through the darkest of nights and the deepest of troubles.
All troubles, they say, have an end. However, when you are going through the nightmare of domestic violence and abuse, and its aftereffects; it is tempting to think that this trouble does not have an end; and that a greater blessing does not await. Often, you search and look for the light at the end of the tunnel. But that light sems to just move further and further away. And, just as you are about to lose all hope, saying: I’ve tried everything I know to try. I’ve done all the steps, I know to do. I’ve cried all the tears, I can cry. I’ve prayed all the prayers, I know to pray; then, miraculously, God’s grace suddenly appears (because it’s His grace, not our works); and the greater blessings you’ve longed for, are finally given. Your troubles end and the greater blessings begin.
For you see, God is a merciful and loving God. He is a God of grace, of deliverance, of truth, of help, and of multiplied blessings. He remembers our difficulties. He repays all our troubles and sorrows by giving us a multiplied blessing at the end of our troubles. (Sometimes the blessings are immediate, and sometimes they are not. But they always come. They never fail when we believe in, and call upon, the Name of the One Who Can Accomplish All Things.)
Where in the Bible, you ask, does it say that these things are true? The answer is that there are various passages, throughout the Bible, that tell us that we are given the greater blessing for the troubles that we’ve endured. One such passage can be found in Isaiah 61: 3 & 7. In this passage, these truths are demonstrated, saying: God gives us a doubled blessing for our troubles; He appoints blessing for those who mourn; He gives beauty for ashes; oil of joy for mourning; and garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Additionally, God gives the doubled blessing for whatsoever shame or confusion we’ve endured; He causes everlasting rejoicing to be upon our heads; and, He causes us to possess the double within our lands.
Other Biblical passages demonstrating God’s giving of greater blessings, for troubles endured, can be found in the lives and stories of Joseph and Job. Both Joseph and Job endured many trials, many troubles, and many sorrows. Yet, at the end of their troubles, both were rewarded by God with multiplied blessings. (Joseph’s story of trials and deliverance and blessings can be found in Genesis, chapters 37-50. Job’s story of trials and deliverance and blessings can be found in the Book of Job.) Their deliverances and blessings, from all their troubles, demonstrate the grace of God. Therefore, the blessings of God, as shown to Joseph and Job, will be the focus of the remainder of today’s journey in grace. Take heart, my friend, in their various stories that follow; for God is no respecter of persons. (Romans 2: 11). What God did in delivering the multiplied blessings for Joseph and Job for the troubles they endured; He will also do for you.
As you read the summary of Joseph’s and Job’s stories; think about how their troubles parallel yours. Are there similarities and differences? If so, what are they? If Joseph’s and Job’s victories were won through God’s amazing grace, cannot yours also be similarly won? Cannot your heart’s desires (your greater blessings) also be given to you for the troubles you’ve endured and known? In Psalm 37: 3-5, we are told: Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in The Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto The Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
Let’s begin the study of Joseph’s life by first learning who he was; and how his troubles came to be. Joseph was the grandson of Isaac and the son of Jacob. (Jacob is sometimes also known as Israel. He received his name change after he wrestled with an angel and emerged victorious.) Joseph was the son of Jacob’s old age, and Jacob loved him more than his other children. Therein, Joseph’s troubles began, because his brothers hated him because their father loved Joseph more than his other children.
Additionally, Joseph had two dreams in which he dreamt that he would reign over his brothers and have dominion over them; whereby they would bow down to him. Unwisely, he shared these dreams with his brothers and they hated him all the more.
One day Jacob sent his sons to feed the flocks in Dothan, first without Joseph; then later Joseph was sent unto them. When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming from afar, they conspired to kill him and to cast him into a pit. They purposed they would tell their father that some evil beast had devoured him. But, his brother, Rueben, said unto his other brothers that they should not shed their brother’s blood; rather they should cast him into the pit in the wilderness.
With their plot to cast Joseph into the pit in the wilderness, readied; his brothers greeted him by stripping him of the coat he wore, and casting him into the pit with no water. (The coat he wore was one of many colors; given to him by his father.) But as they sat by the side of the pit to eat their bread, they saw a caravan approaching of Ishmeelites who were bound for Egypt. The caravan suggested to his brother, Judah: that it might be better for them to profit from Joseph rather than have his blood on their hands. Therefore, they sold Joseph into slavery for twenty pieces of silver.
Returning home, they showed their father Joseph’s blooded coat that they had dipped in the blood of a goat. Jacob believed that his son had been rent into many pieces by an evil beast. They did not correct him. Jacob mourned grievously for his son; telling his other children that he would go to his grave mourning the loss.
In Egypty, Joseph was sold by the Midianties unto Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh, and captain of the guard. Portiphar noticed that the Lord was with Joseph in all that he did. So, Potiphar made Joseph the overseer of his house and all that he had. And, the blessings of the Lord that were on Joseph also fell upon his master’s house and fields.
But it came to pass that Potiphar’s wife desired that Joseph lie with her. Being a man of God and loyal to his master, however, Joseph refused Potiphar wife’s advances. But as Joseph tried one day to flee from her; she grabbed his garment. She used the garment to demonstrate to her husband that Joseph had tried to lie with her; as she cried our in a loud voice for help. Then, Potiphar wrongly imprisoned Joseph.
But once again God granted Joseph favor within the prison. The keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, Joseph was the doer of it. And, the Lord made whatsoever Joseph did to prosper.
And, it came to pass that while Joseph was still in prison that the Pharaoh imprisoned his chief butler and chief baker. While in prison, both the chief butler and chief baker, dreamed dreams that they could not interpret. Joseph, through God, interpreted their dreams for them. To the chief butler, the interpretation was that within three days Pharaoh would restore him to his service in the former manner. To the chief baker, the intrepretation was that within three days, he would be hanged. Both interpretations were correct.
As the chief butler left the prison to return to his former position with the Pharaoh, Joseph asked him to remember him to Pharaoh. He asked the chief butler to have the Pharaoh show him kindness so that he, too, might be brought out of the prison. However, the chief butler forgot about Joseph, and did not remember him to the Pharaoh–at least at first.
And, behold two additonal years passed. Then the Pharaoh repeatedly dreamed a dream that he could not interpret; and his spirit was troubled. Pharaoh sent for the magicians of Egypt, but they could not interpret his dream either. The Pharaoh was wroth with all his servants. Then the chief butler remembered Joseph’s abilities to correctly interpret dreams with God’s help.
The Pharaoh sent for Joseph from the prison and had him brought unto him. Joseph interpreted the dream saying that there would be seven years of plenty and abundance in the land of Egypt; followed by seven years of grievous famine. He advised the Pharaoh that his dream should soon come to pass and that he needed to appoint a discreet and wise man to oversee all of Egypt; who should then appoint officers, to take up the fifth part of the land in the plenteous years, to store it up in preparation for the years of grievous famine that was to follow; so that Egypt would not perish.
Pharaoh chose Joseph and appointed him governor over all the land of Egypt; making him a great ruler; second in command to only the throne. Pharaoh placed his ring on Joseph’s hand; arrayed him in garments of fine linen; put a gold chain about his neck; gave him the priest’s daughter for his wife (she bore him two sons before the famine came); caused him to ride in the second chariot behind him; and, commanded that the servants bow their knees before him.
The famine came and people cried unto the Pharaoh for corn and food. The Pharaoh commanded them to go to Joseph and to do what Joseph told them to do. The famine was sore within all the countries, even Canaan, where Jacob and his sons lived. Thus, did Joseph’s brothers have to come unto him seeking the corn and food they needed to live.
Though at first his brothers did not recognize Joseph; Joseph recognized them. Joseph did some maneuvering; but at some point, he told his brothers who he was. When his brothers learned who Joseph was, and the position of authority he held, they were afraid because of the evil they had previously done unto him.
But, Joseph, being a man of God, eventually gathered all his family and their flocks and brought them into the land of Goshen. Saying unto them: Be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me into slavery; for God did send me before you to preserve life and a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Make haste and go now unto my father. Tell him that his son, Joseph, does live. Tell him that I have been made a lord of all Egypt. Gather him, your families, and your flocks and returen unto me and you shall dwell in the land of Goshen and be near to me. And, I will nourish you for yet five years of famine remains. (Genesis 45).
And Pharaoh commanded that Joseph’s family be brought into Egypt; be given the finest of lands; and, be made rulers over his cattle. The good of all of Egypt was commanded and given to them. And as Jacob and his sons were each given possession of the best of the land; their possessions grew and multiplied exceedingly. And it was an everlasting possession for the family and Joseph’s seed.
And when Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers became afraid again. For they feared that without their father to protect them, Joseph would do them harm, for all the evil they had done unto him. But Joseph replied, instead: But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring it to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20).
The story of Job’s life begins quite differently than Joseph’s. Job was a righteous and perfect man in God’s eyes. And Satan debated with God suggesting that if Job experienced troubles and had all that he possessed and valued taken away (for he was the wealthiest and greatest of all the men of the east); then he would turn and curse God and no longer be righteous and perfect. At that time, Job: had seven sons and three daughters; he possessed 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 female donkeys; many servants; and, a very great household.
Job’s troubles began with the loss of his seven sons and three daughters, all who died at the same time. His children had gathered at his eldest son’s house, eating and drinking; and a great wind arose causing the four corners of the house to collapse upon them. Simultaneously, fire came down from heaven and burned up his sheep, oxen, and donkeys; the Chaldeans fell upon his camels and carried them away; and, all his servants were slain with the edge of the sword. As Job suffered the troubles and the losses of: his children; his sheep; his oxen; his donkeys; his camels; and, his servants; his response was, simply: